MENUCANCEL

We both really love Sundays. It’s a great time to work on a joint project, or catch up on things put aside earlier in the week. My sister and I trade off hosting the family meal and today is her turn. Therefore, we’re free to spend most of the day doing what we choose. We might even head to a favorite trail instead of tackling chores.

The sun is rising through the big fir trees, we can hear the hummingbirds chirping at the feeders, and our white Golden Retriever, McKinley is napping now, after waking us up promptly at 6:00 AM. Our mugs are filled with hot coffee and we’re enjoying a relaxing morning.  Our parents are still sleeping and there is little noise coming from elsewhere.

My sister and her husband live the separate, and private, daylight level of our house. Mom and Dad live in a wing of the house on the upper level with my husband and me. Our plans to build them a separate ADU (accessory dwelling unit)  were can canceled due to health requirements for dad.  We’ve reconfigured things to ensure more privacy for us.

Living in a Multigenerational home requires a lot of open dialog and patience with one another. Misunderstandings, feelings of resentment, and differences in personalities can create tension. Family issues from long ago tend to crop up again with a vengeance. Especially those issues where healing and growth are still needed.

In our opinion, it’s all worth the effort. The perks far outweigh the struggles and we can’t imagine mom and dad in a nursing home. Naturally, that may be the best option for other families, and we understand. There’s no right or wrong, figuring out what’s the best for your own particular situation is personal business. This works for us, and we know this lifestyle has brought us all closer in the last two years.

The ability to handle the health issues of aging parents is just one of the reasons the Multi-generational home is gaining popularity in our country. Financial benefits, emotional support, and social enjoyment are also big factors listed my many of our clients. It really helps us understand their needs since we too live this lifestyle.

We specialize in selling homes, and multigenerational homes, on acreage in Clark County, WA. Having Nature As Neighbors and elbow room for the soul soothes emotions and offers relaxation from a busy life, and a chaotic world.  If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of a multi-generational lifestyle, contact us today.

Filed under: Lifestyle | View Homes

We specialize in view homes in Clark County that have large lots or acreage with “elbow room for the soul.” Those homes are often well-suited for multigenerational (MultiGen) living – separate living quarters to share with family or extended family. Since we live in a MultiGen household, we are always on the lookout for homes that can meet that growing market demand.
This week we feature a home in Camas that offers MultiGen living:

3039 NW Lacamas Drive, Camas WA 98607

Located on the 12th hole of beautiful Camas Meadows Golf Course, this home offers a total of 9200 SQFT of living space, including fully-equipped 2,000 SQFT guest quarters in the daylight basement. Separate entrance offers privacy, but the opportunity to share with aging parents or new family getting started – the best of both worlds. The open floor plans can accommodate large gatherings or intimate parties, with lots of outdoor living. Listed for $1,975,000, this stunning home is located in the luxury home neighborhood of Lacamas Shores.

Buyers: 
If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here.
Sellers: If you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Listing courtesy of Stalder Realty Group

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Fresh cucumbers, walla walla sweets, beans, snow peas, and beets. These are a few of the veggies we’ve been enjoying of late from our Camas garden. However, one interesting squash variety has become a real favorite of our multi-generational family – pattypan squash.

Pattypan squash is generally small, round and shallow, with scalloped edges that make it resemble a flying saucer. We try to pick them when they are on the small side as they are the most tender with a delicate buttery, or olive oil-like flavor. 

The small squash can be braised, steamed, roasted, or grilled whole. One of our favorite ways to enjoy them is to cut them in half, hollow out the center, and fill with turkey sausage, shallots, and mushrooms. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan adds the finishing touch. 

You won’t find pattypan squash in most markets. However, the growing popularity of Farmer’s Markets around the county has introduced more and more people to this wonderful variety of summer squash. We first grew it in our garden last year and now can’t imagine summers without it.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature

For several years, we have lived next to my elderly parents, and now share a residence with them.  We have the luxury of enough space for privacy and separate living areas, but the convenience of being able to help them with meals, daily chores, and medical appointments. We never thought we would be part of a major trend, but this lifestyle has become mainstream and is growing. The demand for multigenerational homes continues to grow each year.

In addition to the economics of shared expenses, there are social and familial benefits of deepened relationships and enriched lives. Adult children have the peace of mind of improved care for their aging parents. Grandchildren have the bonus of quality time with their grandparents on a regular basis.

We think it’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” works well for multigen homes, too.  We know how to evaluate homes on larger lots with the potential for additional living quarters. Whether separate living quarters, or shared space, we understand and live the lifestyle, so we know how to find the right multigen home.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multigen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features, starting at $400,000 (Note: these numbers do not include the spectacular $23,500,000 165-acre multi-gen property featured above as it skews the averages.)

52 Active Listings – $439,900 to $4,500,000
Average SQFT – 4,878

Average $/SQFT – $193

1 Bumpable Buyer at $798,000 for 3,074 SQFT or $260 $/SQFT

17 Pending – $425,000 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT– 4,592
Average $/SQFT – $211

22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $408,000 to $1,850,000
Average SQFT – 4,053
Average $/SQFT – $175

Median Days on Market was 95 days – multigen homes do not last long in this market!

If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here. Or if you have a home that has Multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We were both thrilled to see Trilliums again poking through the green moss and ferns along the Lacamas Heritage Trail in Camas. It’s our favorite local trail and we often take our Golden Retriever, McKinley, there for exercise. Truthfully, it’s for our exercise needs too. The trail winds through woods, and open spaces offer glimpses of Lacamas Lake, Lacamas Creek, and in certain spots, Mt. Hood. Favorable scenery adds to the enjoyment of our workout.

Seasons bring different forms of beauty to the trail, but lately, an onslaught of rainy weather and unseasonably cold temperatures has kept it somewhat bleak, and muddy. This week, a few days of sunny weather has helped, not only is the trail drying out, but the Spring wildflowers are starting to pop. Nature’s gifts often stop us in our tracks and this week was no exception. Bernie and Mac waited patiently while I dug my iPhone out of my pocket to snap a few photos of the delicate rhizome, Trillium ovatum ( western trilllum).

Trillums are easily disturbed, and sadly, picking them will retard the plants ability to bloom. Children too, are enchanted by them and often can’t resist picking numerous blooms to surprise mom. Therefore, many public parks and trails in our area have warnings posted to leave the trilliums alone. It’s the only way to ensure their ability to bring beauty back to the forest floor year after year. In the wild, they grow in open to dense forests in moist low to mid-level elevations, and many times they are found in areas that are boggy in early spring.

By the way, there are a number of ViewHomes™ for sale in the Lacamas Lake area of Camas. If you’re interested in taking a tour and learning about the many nearby amenties, we’d love to be your guides. Contact us today at NatureAsNeighbors.com.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

A multitude of headline teases pop up daily on my MSN home page, normally most are ignored. Yesterday, however, one caught my eye and curiosity, The Most Iconic Dessert From Every State. Logic tells me Washington State, where I live, would likely have something featuring apples. Would neighboring state Oregon have something made with filberts? Indulging myself further, I  wondered if Baked Alaska would be the signature dessert of my original home state of Alaska.

Only one of my guesses was correct, Washington’s featured dessert is an Apple Crisp. Oregon’s is a Pear Cake and Alaska’s is Wild Ligonberry jam on a buttermilk biscuit. Baked Alaska was actually invented by a chef in New York to honor the state’s purchase from Russia in 1867. Alaskans enjoy picking wild berries and treasure their berry patches,  often keeping them top-secret.

As for Washington, the choice is obvious. We’re known for our sweet apples and lead the nation in Apple production, growing nearly two thirds of all apples in the country. While Oregon is also known for apple production, the pear ranks as the top-selling fruit crop in the state. Although, I wasn’t completely wrong on that guess, as the article suggests adding filberts (another treat associated with Oregon) to the Pear cake recipe.

Other state treats that caught my eye include:

California – Frozen Yogurt – California leads the nation with 189 establishments offering the frozen dessert. And, with a body-con population, froyo wins out over ice cream.

Colorado – Yogurt with Granola Parfait – It’s a nod to the state’s dairy farming and their health-conscious culture.

New Hampshire – Pumpkin Pie – Apparently the pumpkin is listed as the state’s official fruit. Add some maple syrup for bonus points – it’s another New Hampshire top export.

If you’re wondering about a particular state, here’s a link to the complete list.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

The demand for multigenerational homes continues to grow each year. Ten years ago, we bought a townhouse right next to my elderly parents so we could help them out, but still have our own personal space.  When they started having trouble navigating the stairs, we found a daylight basement home with single level living on the first floor and separate living quarters below.  We never thought we would be part of a major trend, but this lifestyle has become mainstream and is growing.

In addition to the economic benefits of shared expenses, there are social and familial benefits of deepened relationships and enriched lives. Adult children have the peace of mind of taking care of their aging parents by not putting them into a facility. Grandchildren have the bonus of quality time with their grandparents on a regular basis.

We think it’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” works well for multigen homes, too.  We know how to evaluate homes on larger lots with the potential for additional living quarters. Whether separate living quarters, or shared space, we understand and live the lifestyle, so we know how to find the right multigen home.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multigen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features, starting at $400,000:

48 Active Listings – $419,900 to $4,500,000
Average SQFT – 4,810

Average $/SQFT – $195

2 Bumpable Buyers – $798,000 to $2,250,000
Average SQFT- 5,168

Average $/SQFT – $295

20 Pending – $435,000 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT– 4,324
Average $/SQFT – $212

22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $403,000 to $1,250,000
Average SQFT – 3,925
Average $/SQFT – $178

Median Days on Market was 2 Months – multigen homes do not last long in this market!

If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here. Or if you have a home that has Multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

A Washington Post writer treads treacherous territory with a controversial bombshell of an exposé.  No, this is not about D.C. politics, this is about something far more critical to our identity as a civilized culture – food!  Yes, Tom Sietsema wrote “The Top 10 Best Food Cities in America” and actually dared to rank them in order – rating many smaller cities higher than better-known metropolitan culinary standards. (Hint: Portland was ranked #1, New York disappointed, and Seattle didn’t make the cut!) As you can expect, it has sparked backlash from loyal food fanatics who felt slighted by his (admittedly subjective) findings.

Although published in 2015, the writer is still defending his choices based on his three-month gastronomical journey across this country. Unlike Guy Fieri’s titular “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, he expanded his criteria beyond restaurants and bars to food carts, farmers markets, even grocery stores to experience a true sense of the city’s food culture.  He interviewed chefs, food critics, merchants, and diners in each city to uncover the best, and lesser-known examples of “creativity, community and tradition” in the local food scene.

His review of Portland names some of our favorite places, including healthy fast-food Burgerville and New Seasons Market  ( both are located across the Columbia River in Clark County, Washington too) – regional treasures that feature locally-sourced fresh produce and fruit, meats, and seafood. He credits a produce clerk with introducing him to the odd-shaped but wonderful honeysuckle fruit. He also cites examples of food varieties available in the immediate area – including 300 styles of truffles, and berries “so delicate, they don’t leave the state”. With amazing ingredients, and a generation of accomplished chefs, (both pros and amateurs), the area offers an abundance of wonderful food experiences.

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

This past winter’s unusually harsh weather makes it hard to keep in mind that Spring will be here soon.  And with Spring, as more people get outside to enjoy the nice weather, buyers start thinking about living on or near water.  Water has a natural, meditative effect on us — the sight and sound of moving water puts us in a relaxed, reflective mode. Waterfront properties have a built-in asset that many buyers want.  Some want easy access to boating and active water sports. Others want a peaceful place for quiet reflection.

The Pacific Northwest has many amazing bodies of water – rivers, bays, lakes and creeks all enhance our connection to nature. But regulations designed to protection our watersheds restrict the development of designated shoreline properties with tight footprints, setbacks, and mitigation requirements. Even creeks are regulated in certain protected watersheds. This can cause frustration for anyone trying to build or expand a house along a natural waterway (previous structures are grandfathered in, but there are still limitations on what you can do to the property.)

Regulation, market demand, and a limited inventory all add up to create a specialized market. Whether you are looking for, or want to sell, waterfront property, you should work with a broker who has experience in this specialized market and knows how to achieve that perfect outcome for you.

Here is a snapshot of the current market for waterfront ViewHomes™ of Clark County:

52 Active from $409,900 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT 3,584
Average $/SQFT $248

19 Pending from $400,000 to $1,095,000
Average SQFT 3,107
Average $/SQFT $173

27 Sold in past 3 months from $400,000 to $2,000,000
Average SQFT 2,802
Average $/SQFT $212

View properties on water tend to move quickly, so now is a great time to buy or sell waterfront property. Give us a call, we specialize in ViewHomes™ of Clark County.

Walking along Lacamas Lake the other day we saw a lively display of birds flying about, roosting on logs, and playing in the water.  Given the recent ice and freezing rain, we were impressed with all the lively activity.  It was energizing, hinting at spring’s return. We were familiar with most of them, but one brightly-colored bird stood out – we couldn’t quite place it, so we went home to do some research. (More on that later).

What started as a serious research project quickly took an amusing turn. I know there is an amazing variety of resident and transient waterfowl in the lake, since it is located along the migratory Pacific Flyway.  But, reading the many descriptive bird names, I started noticing connections I hadn’t seen before and couldn’t resist a little wordplay. In other words, you could say the lexicology of ornithology is a hoot.

Some observations:
The international representatives are a worldly bunch: Canadian geese, American Coots, European Starlings, and Eurasian Wigeons to name a few.  Kind of like a gaggle of U.N. delegates.

Not to be judgmental, but the Lesser Scaup, Common Mergancer, Great Blue Heron and Greater White-Fronted Geese, are no superlative match for the Stellar Jays.

Hairstyles and sartorial splendor abound: Bald Eagles, Hairy Woodpeckers, Tufted Ducks strut alongside Black-Capped Chickadees, Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Belted Kingfisher, and Double-crested Cormorants. There hasn’t been this much preening since Paris Fashion Week.

On a more contemplative note, we kept our distance from the Townsend’s Solitaire and the Hermit Thrush, while commiserating with the Mourning Dove and Dark-eyed Junco.  But then we partied all night with Harlequins, Evening Grosbeaks, and Warbling Vireos, thanks to Grey Goose and Wild Turkey.  We gave it a rest before we all got too Pie-Billed (Grebe).

Oh, and that bird we were trying to identify?  It’s a Bufflehead! Kind of how I felt after writing this post.

(Posted by Bernie, aka “The Lacamas Lake Loon.”)

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature

We continue to receive inquiries about multigenerational homes now that the lifestyle has become more popular. Besides the economics of sharing expenses, there are the real social and familial benefits of deepened relationships and enriched lives. Adult children have the peace of mind of taking care of their aging parents, grandchildren have the bonus of quality time with their grandparents on a regular basis.

We think it’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” works well for multi-gen homes, too.  We are familiar with how to convert homes on larger lots into the potential for additional living quarters. Because we understand and live the lifestyle, we know how to find the right multi-gen home.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multi-gen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features priced starting at $400,000:

49 Active Listings – $419,900 to $4,500,000
Average SQFT – 5,072

Average $/SQFT – $212

3 Bumpable Buyers – $690,000 to $2,250,000
Average SQFT- 6,020

Average $/SQFT – $257

11 Pending – $425,000 to $1,250,000
Average SQFT– 3,588
Average $/SQFT – $180

32 Sold in last 3 Mos – $400,980 to $1,250,000
Average SQFT – 3,738
Average $/SQFT – $176

Average Days on Market: 87 – Multi-gen homes do not last long in this market!

If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here. Or if you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Market Reports

We all know about the rejuvenating powers of living close to nature and having privacy and space. Add to that the daily pleasures of a fantastic view, and your home really becomes a retreat. Living in Camas, WA, you have many options to experience a lifestyle with “elbow room for the soul”, the ultimate luxury.

Also, if you’re looking for a family estate with enough room for live-in family, or visiting friends, and land to garden or enjoy privacy, you’re like the majority of our clients. Since we specialize in Multi-generational living, we have helped many families find a home suitable for that lifestyle.

Homes in Camas offer you many opportunities to spend more time with those we love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate our souls. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, either – our ViewHomes™ of Clark County come in unique shapes and sizes.

Since we live in the country north of Camas, we have a real fondness for the area. The charm of a small-town lifestyle meets high-tech industry and offers residents quick access to the big city amenities of Portland, including easy access to Portland International Airport.

Market Report Snapshot for ViewHomes™ Camas, WA

17 Active Listings –  $549,500 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT 4,855
Average $/SQFT $232

1 Bumpable  $2,250,000 with 7,261 SQFT for a $/SQFT of $310

4 Pending Listings – $450,000 to $2,100,000
Average SQFT: 4,527
Average $/SQFT $209

7 Sold in the last 3 months from  $400,000 to $905,000
Average SQFT 3,077
Average $/SQFT $174

The Average DOM (days on market) was 91, so properties are selling quickly!

If you’re looking for a home in Camas, WA, begin your Camas ViewHomes search here.

If you are thinking of selling your home in Camas, call us for a free market analysis. We know the area and know how to market your property for the best result!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News | View Homes | Views

Living in the country has many perks – open space, green vistas, and chickens! Yes, chickens.  Even if you don’t raise chickens yourself, they are usually just an acre or two away from you. From the early morning crow of the rooster, to the regular clucking of the hens – chickens add a decidedly rural feeling to the area.

When you see chickens roaming around someone’s property, you might assume they are low-maintenance.  But they actually require a lot of work and care to keep clean and healthy. So we have opted, for now, not to have them on our property.  But we see and hear them all the time at our neighbors’, and that’s fine with us.  Recently, one neighbor asked if we wanted to be in the loop of a regular fresh egg supply. Yes!  So now we have all the benefits of chickens – daily fresh eggs – without the work! We appreciate the bright yolks, firm whites, and they are great for baking too.

So in addition to the normal benefits of living in the country – clean air, privacy, and “elbow room for the soul”, you can add fresh eggs to the list.  They are often just a good neighbor away. If you’re interested in discovering the many benefits of living with Nature As Neighbors, call us today, we love to share our experiences.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

This little sweetheart turned two years old, yesterday. She is our family’s tiny Valentine. Raegan Leigh Nelson, as you can likely see in her photo, is full of unbridled joy and delight.
Children truly know how to live in the moment. We FaceTimed last night and she sat with a happy smile while we sang Happy Birthday. The biggest takeaway of the day for little Rae was “Cake!”

Happy Valentines Day to you and to your sweetheart(s).

 

 

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

The Pleasure of Living with Nature As Neighbors

If you are looking for a home with acreage and a view, you should consider homes in Brush Prairie – Hockinson, in Clark County, WA. While they are technically two separate places, most people refer to the area as one. The topography of this region is defined by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Columbia River Gorge to the south. Rolling hillsides – offering territorial views – rise up to dramatic vantage points of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites – adding value to your home when it’s time to sell, and pleasure while you live there. Brush Prairie is in the highly desirable Hockinson School District.

Point of Interest! Neighbors and visitors enjoy stopping in at the Hockinson Market. It’s
located at 15814 NE 182nd Avenue. You can fuel the car, buy ice-cream, pizza, cold
beverages – even a new microbrew tap room. It’s a handy resource for locals and within about a 10-15 minute (or less) drive from most of the area neighborhoods.

Here is a quick market summary of view homes in Hockinson with acreage:

12 Active Listings – $460,000 to $1,350,000
Average SQFT – 4,166

Average $/SQFT – $174

10 Pending – $424,900 to $900,000
Average SQFT– 3,492
Average $/SQFT – $180

14 Sold in last 3 Mos – $415,000 to $730,000
Average SQFT – 3,236
Average $/SQFT – $176

We specialize in ViewHomes of Clark County™. If you want to learn more about ViewHomes of Brush Prairie-Hockinson contact us today.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Market Reports | Nature | News

One of the rewards of living in the Pacific Northwest is the predominance of amazing bodies of water – rivers, bays, lakes and creeks all enhance our connection to nature. Water has a natural, meditative effect on us — the sight and sound of moving water puts us in a relaxed, reflective mode. Waterfront properties have a built-in asset that many buyers want.  Some want easy access to boating and active water sports. Others want a peaceful place for quiet reflection.

However, regulations designed to protection our watersheds restrict the development of designated shoreline properties with tight footprints, setbacks, and mitigation requirements. Even creeks are regulated in certain protected watersheds. This can cause frustration for anyone trying to build or expand a house along a natural waterway (previous structures are grandfathered in, but there are still limitations on what you can do to the property.)

Regulation, market demand, and a limited inventory all add up to create a specialized market. Whether you are looking for, or want to sell, waterfront property, you should work with a broker who has experience in this specialized market and knows how to achieve that perfect outcome for you.

Here is a snapshot of the current market for waterfront ViewHomes™ of Clark County:

17 Active from $419,900 to $3,290,000
Average SQFT 3,897
Average $/SQFT $245

18 Pending from $455,000 to $999,500
Average SQFT 3,240
Average $/SQFT $192

34 Sold in past 3 months from $400,000 to $2,000,000
Average SQFT 3,189
Average $/SQFT $211

View properties on water tend to move quickly, so now is a great time to buy or sell waterfront property. Give us a call, we specialize in ViewHomes™ of Clark County.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News | Views | Waterfront

We continue to receive inquiries about multigenerational homes now that the lifestyle has become more popular. Besides the economics of sharing expenses, there are the real social and familial benefits of deepened relationships and enriched lives. Adult children have the peace of mind of taking care of their aging parents, grandchildren have the bonus of quality time with their grandparents on a regular basis.

We think it’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” works well for multi-gen homes, too.  We are familiar with how to convert homes on larger lots into the potential for additional living quarters. Because we understand and live the lifestyle, we know how to find the right multi-gen home.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multi-gen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features priced starting at $400,000:

47 Active Listings – $419,900 to $4,500,000
Average SQFT – 5,039

Average $/SQFT – $217

2 Bumpable Buyers – $559,900 to $2,250,000
Average SQFT- 5,116

Average $/SQFT – $275

13 Pending – $425,000 to $999,500
Average SQFT– 3,888
Average $/SQFT – $161

35 Sold in last 3 Mos – $400,980 to $1,850,000
Average SQFT – 4,414
Average $/SQFT – $185

If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here. Or if you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Nature Tweets Sweeter – Black Capped Chickadees

One of our favorite backyard birds is the little cheerful-looking, and cheerful sounding, Black-capped Chickadee. Chickadee is the North American name for birds that are called tits (no snickering please) in rest of the world where these birds are found. Tits is actually an old German word meaning something small. It makes sense to us.
We’ve been filling the feeder with their favorite black-oiled sunflower seeds, as well as suet to help them survive our crazy, cold winter this year. They are quite friendly and don’t seem to mind our presence in the yard with them. It’s interesting to watch them at the feeder too because they exhibit a complex flock hierarchy, allowing dominate birds to feed first.

The North American name for them is based on the sound the birds make, chick-a-dee-dee. However, our favorite tune to hear is their distinctive fee-bee-ee whistle. It always brings us a smile to hear the melodic song outside our windows. We also feel lucky that the fee-bee song is actually distinctly longer for chickadees in Oregon and Washington. We get it, the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is something to sing about.

I found this fun video, an Ode to Songbirds produced by students and teachers involved in an awesome program sponsored by the Tremont Institute, located within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

We are also pleased to be the only REALTORS® in Clark County, WA who specialize in Multigenerational properties. It’s interesting too, as we are now seeing a few other brokerages trying to respond, a bit late we believe, to this growing trend in housing. Our passion for this lifestyle grew from our personal experience. However, we also predicted the trend was picking up in popularity and not just for economic reasons as many believe. Instead, families are often choosing to live together out of love – a desire to share as many moments as possible with one another.

We’re working with a Camas family ( mom, dad, and two kids) who want to live in a Multi-generational property with the wife’s parents. The parents currently live in the midwest, are retiring this Spring, and they haven’t had  a chance to really spend a lot of time around their young grandchildren. Therefore, relocation for them is a top priority. The property they’ve decided to buy together will need an area where the older parents can age in place. In other words, living space with ground level access and one-level.

Purchasing a multi-generational property is a process. Since there are more people in the decision making arena, that increases the need for concessions and compromises. Eventually though, we find a good fit for everyone. In fact, the search is part of the fun because we so enjoy getting to know each member of the family. For example, last weekend, we lingered in the kitchen of a home we’d toured listening to interesting stories of the wife’s time spent in Asia as an English teacher – with her own a popular TV show!

Economics can certainly be a benefit of shared living, but often it’s not the number one priority. Believe it or not, the catalyst for a multi-gen move is often based in love. A desire to share life, as many moments as possible, with family members. We live in a property with our elderly parents, the difference in our situation, my sister and her husband also share our large home. We trade off with cooking responsibilities for mom and dad, doctor visits, and try to engage them socially as often as possible. My sister and I chose to go through this together, giving back to two people who gave us such a solid childhood. We think our husbands are amazing men.

Our first-hand experience with this lifestyle gives us a unique perspective that we share freely. The pros, the cons. Although, the cons can be greatly minimized with advance planning and detailed discussions. For example, be sure to consult with a Family Trust attorney to fully understand how to protect the property in a variety of unforeseen circumstances. We also feel that privacy, and having your own space, is a critical consideration for most of us.

In addition, most of our clients, like us, greatly appreciate the healing and soothing aspects of having Nature As Neighbors. Eco-therapy is now recognized by the mental health community as an important aspect of our human need to connect with nature. More and more people are recognizing this link and seeking homes which offer them a retreat for rejuvenation. We find these homes, in particular, make great multi-gen options. A ViewHome™ on some acreage is like having elbow room for the soul.™

We know our most recent multi-gen family of buyers will enjoy the perks of this lifestyle. They’re taking the time to communicate with one another honestly, setting clear expectations and laying down the groundwork of what’s needed to make a property a good fit for all of them. It’s a privilege to be the only REALTORS® in Clark County who specialize in this growing real estate need. If you’ve been considering a multigenerational home, call us today. We’d be happy to share our experiences and expertise to help determine if this is a good fit for you.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News | View Homes

This year, we have experienced two outages, one in December, and one this past weekend. The most recent left us without power for about eight hours. It could have been worse though. We stayed warm and cozy, had plenty of water stored, and even made grilled cheese sandwiches on our wood stove. Still, you could hear cheers throughout our two level home as the lights came back on around 4:00 PM.

“The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live everyday as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

We have been promoting fresh Christmas trees for some time as a green choice for the holidays. Every year, we enjoy the hunt, harvest, and, even the hassle of putting up a fresh tree and have never considered an artificial tree.  Especially now that we live within 2 miles of a great tree farm. Typically, with proper care, they keep their aroma and greenery for many days, and last well past Christmas day.

This year, though, we were in for a surprise, in spite of faithfully following the National Christmas Tree Association guidelines. We took the tree straight home and prepped it properly for the stand. Every morning we checked the water level, and topped it up when necessary.  We even keep a bottle of water right next to the base for easy refill. But for some reason, it dried out faster than usual.  More needles than usual started dropping, and the bright green color started to fade.  When it started to feel brittle to the touch, we decided as a safety measure, to take it down.

Sure enough, as we disassembled the lights and ornaments, it was clear the tree was a goner. We took it outside and put it on our fire pit. With just the flick of a lighter, it blazed into a small inferno.  We were sad to see it go but relieved that it ignited outside, and not while we were gone for the weekend.

A quick search suggests that some trees don’t absorb as much water as others, so that might be a factor.  The other is the extreme cold we experienced for several days caused us to use the wood stove a lot more, and the air might have dried it out faster. Whatever the reason, we are grateful we noticed it and took action.

We still plan to  a fresh tree next year, and maybe pick a cooler spot for it.  According to the NCTA, “less than .0004% of Real Christmas Trees used each year are ignited in home fires.”  This is still a reminder that, while fresh trees are a great way to celebrate the holidays, it is important to pay attention and take steps to keep it from drying out.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature

Discover the benefits of living with a fire-breathing dragon. Okay, it’s really a propane torch, but we have vivid imaginations at our Multigen home in Camas, Washington.

If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, we can help. Contact us today and let’s find your ViewHome of Clark County, Washington.

We’ve become big fans of a new development in Felida – The Reserve at Ashley Ridge. The reason? It offers large lots – many with views – and elbow room for the soul. The developer, Pacific Lifestyle Homes, led by Kevin Wann, creates communities that embrace the unique qualities of the location and environment. Ashely Ridge is the embodiment of that: quality green homes that reflect different lifestyles with an appreciation for the environment.

Situated on a plateau overlooking the Columbia River to the East and Salmon Creek refuge to the North, large home sites (up to 20,000 SQFT) are positioned to take advantage of the views, while preserving side lot privacy. Floor plans range in size from 2,000 to 3,756 SQFT, many with master on the main.  Amenities include an additional detached garage where possible, which can be used for an artist studio, hobby shop, or separate home office. Plans are in place for a foot trail to take kayaks down to Lake River right from the neighborhood.

Conveniently located with easy access to shopping, services, and freeways – PDX airport is only 30 min away – The Reserve Ashley Ridge offers an opportunity to live close to everything, but with nature as neighbors. Check out the location in this video, and call us if you’d like to see homes in this neighborhood.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

We have been getting more requests for multigenerational homes now that the lifestyle has become more popular. Besides the economics of sharing expenses, there are the real social and familial benefits of deepened relationships and enriched lives. Adult children have the peace of mind of taking care of their aging parents, grandchildren have the bonus of quality time with their grandparents on a regular basis.

Finding the perfect multi-gen home for your purposes can be a challenge.  Certainly, if the house is listed with separate living quarters, that’s a given, but they are not common. However, there might be other features that will make the situation work, sometimes with some minor remodeling. A second kitchen in the daylight basement, or an office over the garage that already has plumbing.  This is where an agent who is experienced with multi-gen houses or, better yet, lives the lifestyle, can help you find the right home.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multi-gen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with multi-gen features priced starting at $450,000:

74 Active Listings – $450,000 to $23,500,000
Average SqFt – 4,974

Average $/SqFt – $277

17 Pending – $450,000 to $1,295,000
Average SqFT – 3,577
Average $/SqFt – $202

41 Sold in last 3 Mos – $460,000 to $6,500,000
Average SqFt – 4,222
Average $/SqFt – $222

If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here. Or if you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Filed under: Lifestyle

Many of our clients are also sensitive to the environment, that’s why they choose ViewHomes of Clark County – with Nature As Neighbors, as their lifestyle choice. They too will likely visit one of Clark County’s 350 acres of planted tree farms in the upcoming days. It’s important to support our local growers to help ensure their future longevity.

 

Launch the holidays in Clark County at the Port of Camas-Washougal Christmas Ships Parade on Saturday, December 3rd. The parade starts at 6 PM – crowds assemble along the docks at the Port around 5 PM to witness this annual tradition. If the weather is bad, you can slip into the Port’s office.

The Christmas Ships Parade has regaled the Portland/Vancouver region with holiday cheer since 1954. What started with a few volunteer enthusiasts has grown to a fleet of roughly 50 to 60 boats. Now two fleets sail along the Columbia and Willamette rivers – sometimes together – lighting up the water with Christmas decorations and customized lights and signs. This year the parades run from December 2nd through the 18th – the first night’s parade is farther down river along Marine Drive in Portland.

You can check out the schedule and best viewing locations along each river at the Christmas Ships web site. It is a delightful show for both young and old with themes that run the gamut from traditional yuletide to whimsical nautical. It’s a great way to set aside some time from your busy schedule to meet up with friends and get into the holiday mood.

This activity is a volunteer labor of love – Christmas Ship skippers donate their own fuel and time, and receive no compensation.  The cost of insurance is offset by generous donations from businesses and restaurants located along the waterfront. So support the cause by booking your parties and reservations at the sponsoring restaurants and hotels, and make sure you tell them you’re coming to view the Christmas Ships.

If you want to know more about our favorite spots for viewing the Christmas Ships, just call us.  We’ll be glad to lighten up your holiday!

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

If you’d like to learn more about the nuances of multi-gen living, feel free to contact us today. We specialize in ViewHomes of Clark County, homes with Nature and Neighbors and Elbow Room for the Soul.™ Family Estates, homes for baby boomers, and multi-generational properties are our speciality.

We were on our way to an inspection yesterday when we both felt the joy of a new season. The drive to the Washougal River property was gorgeous, and we both commented on the fall leaves this year – they are exceptionally splendid. It reminded us to showcase the beauty of our region with seasonal videos.  Our video of Spring in Clark County is a popular one, but we didn’t have one for this time of year. Naturally, it didn’t take us long to remedy the situation. Welcome to the beauty of Fall in Clark County, WA.

 

 

 

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | Nature | News

Camas – What’s not to love?

We appreciate the welcoming small-town atmosphere in Camas, Washington. Tree-lined streets and friendly merchants make the downtown one of our favorite spots to shop. A sense of community underscores the lifestyle, and plenty of events, hosted by the Downtown Merchants Association and the Parks and Recreation Department, are designed to get people together. One of our favorites is the annual Boo Bash. While this event is designed for children, but we often see everybody getting involved – even the family pets!

Eco-therapy is just what the doctor ordered. We have plenty of that too. Pristine waterways, lush green forests, and snow-capped mountains provide a backdrop for our many Camas neighborhoods. Recreation is literally minutes away with our many parks, trails, lakes, and the mighty Columbia River. Twenty minutes east puts you in the scenic Columbia River Gorge with world class recreation. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, windsurfing, rafting, kayaking, skiing, and fishing to name a few. Our seasons bring us varied landscapes too with colorful wildflowers in the Spring, and the golden tones of the Deciduous trees in the Fall.

The Pacific Northwest, in general, is pretty laid back. We tend to dress casually and put a lot of import on comfort and appropriate weather attire. However, we do enjoy dressing up too, and going to fabulous restaurants, cultural events, or one of the many attractions in neighboring Portland, Oregon. Those of you familiar with the television hit, Portlandia, will be pleased to know there is a grain or two of truth in those funny storylines. Admittedly, we enjoy our close proximity to the Rose city, but always breath easier returning to the slower pace on this side of the Columbia River. We think it’s a wonderful place to call home.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

The Clark County Parade of Homes runs through October 2 and is located in Ridgefield, WA this year – an appropriate site to feature larger homes on country estates.  An old, established farming community with pastoral settings and rolling hills, Ridgefield is often cited as one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Yet, even new developments boast larger lots, views, and plenty of open green spaces. Having the National Wildlife Refuge nearby provides many outdoor recreation opportunities helps protects the surrounding streams and wetlands, providing natural havens for birds and wildlife.

The Parade of Homes features custom homes built on country estates priced from $900,000 to $1,400,000.  If you are not looking in that price range, you can still find homes with acreage, and a view in that area.   In spite of all the new construction, Ridgefield retains its inviting small town atmosphere.  An easy stroll with give you access to historic landmarks, charming shops, restaurants, and the Cathlapotle Plankhouse cultural heritage site.  The city is finishing a recreational loop system of pathways to connect downtown with neighborhoods, parks, schools, and the waterfront.

VIewHomes™ Market Report for Ridgefield:

7 Active Listings from $475,000 to $1,800,000
Average SqFt – 2433

Average $/SqFT – $360

1 Pending Sale $650,000
Square Footage: 1394
$/SqFt – $466

3 Sold in past 3 months – $495,000 to $637,000
Average SqFt – 3200
Average $/SqFt – $183

We are ViewHomes™ of Clark County and our clients share our appreciation for Nature As Neighbors. A private retreat on acreage provides a serene and calm environment, and there’s room to garden, play with kids or grand kids, and enjoy frequent visits from wildlife – “elbow room for the soul.”™

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News | Ridgefield

We always enjoy the Clark County Parade of Homes to view new ideas and designs that complement your lifestyle. This year is especially enjoyable because the theme is a lifestyle that resonates with us – country estates and living with nature as neighbors.  Homes with acreage have the advantage of featuring nature and privacy – the ultimate luxuries.

As more consumers value outdoors as a part of their lifestyles, more builders are featuring nature an extension of the home.  Decks with views, patios with fireplaces, even fully-furnished outdoor kitchens are extremely popular. It’s a recognition that our home is a refuge form the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world. Yesterday’s demand for a media room has become today’s need for an outdoor room.

The Parade of Homes opened Sept. 16th and runs through Oct 2 on Carty Rd in Ridgefield, WA.  All homes sit on acreage, and are larger than 3,000 SqFt – a unique opportunity for builders to showcase their creativity and craftsmanship. This coming Sunday, Sept. 25 is Family Day at the Parade, and features special events for kids and parents from 11:00 am to 2 pm.

Whether it’s a simple patio under the trees, surrounded by Adirondack chairs, or a full-blown entertainment area, outdoor rooms are a great way to sit and enjoy natural surroundings. Especially if you have the luxury of Nature as Neighbors!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News
Jimmy Fallon recently quipped on his Tonight Show that “multi-generational housing” is just a fancy way of saying “I still live with my Mom.”  While that is a funny comment, joking about this lifestyle on late night TV shows how mainstream the concept has become. The Pew Research Center reported last month that nearly 20% of all U.S. families – 60.6 million people – live in multi-gen households.  And it’s not just college-age kids staying at home longer. The report shows that the economic impact of the 2007-2009 recession was a major impetus for the trend, yet here we are 5 years later and the number of families choosing that lifestyle continues to rise.
Certainly, there are economic advantages of sharing the cost of housing, but most of our clients report other positive aspects and incentives for adopting that lifestyle. Many households include grandparents, who consider it a privilege to see their grandchildren every day.  They serve as live-in babysitters, built-in mentors, and general contributors to enhancing family life.  There is a bigger sense of community when family members participate in meals and chores together. In our household, the greatest sense of fulfillment is at the end of a day working in the yard, and we are all sitting around our fire pit enjoying a campfire.

 

As a realtor with experience working with multi-gen clients, I can attest to the challenges of finding that “perfect home.”  In today’s market, as multi-gen housing becomes more popular, homes with additional living quarters, or features that can be adapted for that lifestyle, are pushing prices up.  Here is a market snapshot of all multi-gen homes in Clark County over $450,000:

95 Active Listings, ranging in price from $450,000 to $4,750,000.
Average SqFt is 4,730 with and Average $/SqFt at $224
Average Days on Market is 102
33 Pending Sales, ranging from $489,000 to $4,895,000
Average SqFt is 7,181 with an Average $/SqFt of $139
Average Days on Market is 128
27 Sales in past 3 months ranging from $475,000 to $1,425,000
Average SqFt was 4,036 with an Average $/SqFt of $154
Average Days on Market was 103
This also illustrates that multi-gen homes are going quickly, so call us if you’d like to have us help you find that home. Or run your own search with at our specialized Multi-Gen Search Feature.
Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We are pleased to be the only resource in Clark County with a specific search for multi-generational properties. It will help our sellers get their homes sold more quickly – and help buyers save time in identifying possible homes. Feel free to explore – and take your time – we don’t force anyone to register. We’re confident you’ll want to call us when it’s time to buy or se

We’ve all been aware of the trend in this country of multi-generational families choosing to live together.  It appeared as a temporary phenomenon during the recent recession years – children moving back into their parent’s home for economic reasons.  But as we emerge from that downturn, the patterns are clear – more families are choosing to live together – under the same roof or on the same property – and not just for economic reasons.

Most families who make that choice report personal or quality of life reasons for the decision: aging parents need attention, but don’t want to move into a facility; they want grandparents closer to grandchildren, and help in childcare; or, they just like doing things together but with separate quarters.  Whatever the reasons, we have seen this trend emerging in Clark County as more of our clients want multi-gen homes.  Yet, in spite of market demand, the options are still somewhat limited, and it takes some creativity to find the right property for many families.

For several years, in order to find a home on the RMLS that had multi-gen potential, you had to search a variety of fields for clues.  Clearly, “2ND-RES” or “ADU” – Auxiliary Dwelling Unit indicates a second residence, but not all lots can accommodate two living units. Likewise, “SEPLVQT – Apartment or Auxiliary Living Unit” or “GSTQTR” – Guest Quarters” are useful fields, if used by the listing agent. But those are sub-fields in obscure locations like “Interior Features” and  “Exterior Features”.

Recently, our local RMLS addressed this situation by adding a field “Dual Living Y/N”, which is supposed to pick up any indications in any field that separate or auxiliary quarters are available.  While this may help, you still need to carefully screen each listing to see if the situation is right for your client. Even with that search, you may need to be more creative, depending upon your client’s budget. For example, a daylight basement with a bathroom – can a small kitchen be added? Is there enough room on the lot to add a small structure that taps into existing water and utilities?  These, of course, depend largely on your local zoning and building codes that the buyers will need to check out.

For a quick search of Multi-Gen Homes listed in Clark County, check out our website.  Or call us – we are specialists in multi-generational living.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Rural often means a home with acreage, views, and frequent visits from wildlife. We call it living with Nature As Neighbors and plenty of “elbow room for the soul.”™ It’s a lifestyle that we feel very passionate about, as we live it ourselves. Research suggests it’s good for us to live within close proximity to a lot of green. Call it vitamin “N” for Nature, as one Washington Post writer suggests.

It looks exotic, but is hardy in our climate, as its name implies, “Frostproof.” Our home is located in the hills above Camas and nighttime temperatures are often on the cool side during Spring

Our multi-generational family is nearing the one-year mark of living together. Three couples sharing one structure has been quite the adventure. Compromise, patience, and a good sense of humor all come in handy.

We’re fortunate that our large home lends itself to separate living. My sister and her husband have the entire lower level with a completely private entrance. We live on the upper level, and mom and dad are currently using a section of our home with their own sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. The backyard modular cottage is a bit behind schedule ( another story for another time), but we expect they will be moving into their own place this Fall.

We shared some of our advice with you last week, and as promised, this is part two of the important tips we’ve discovered help make life easier when you’re “together again.”

Be Flexible!
Life changes, and so will your living situation. For example, mom and dad have been downstairs, and are now upstairs, due to a delay in their home building process. It’s important to keep in mind the responsibilities of aging parents too. When one of the us has a busy schedule, or is out-of-town, the other couple picks up the majority of care and keeps the house-hold running smoothly.

Respect Differences
I’m sure mom and dad would do a few things differently than my husband and me, and my sister and her husband. We try to accept help and advice when offered. However, our parents are very respectful of our lifestyles, and don’t try to push their will onto any of us. Likewise, we give our parents their privacy and to give them the space they need for their own traditions of living life.

Priorities
We decided to live together to share in the care of our aging parents. Our number one priority is their comfort and health – both mentally and physically. Dad has Dementia so it can create some stress at times, especially for mom. Remembering why we chose to share our lives keeps us focused on what’s important.

A Connection to Nature
Our property offers us a very strong connection to nature. We think its soothing and serene environment helps us all stay grounded. With over an acre of land, there is always a private spot to soak in the sights and sounds. We often sit in chairs on the deck and watch the fir trees sway in the wind, or count the stars sparkling bright in the night sky.

Have Fun Together
Some of our favorite days are when we share the outdoor chores of taking care of our acreage. Gardening is less of a chore when you have someone to share it with, so is chopping wood, or any household maintenance requirement. It’s fun to have a cold beverage at the end of the day as we sit in satisfaction around the outdoor fire pit.

This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but judging from recent reports, it’s popularity continues to grow. We can honestly say, it’s working for us. The precious moments we share today will give us a the wonderful memories for tomorrow.  If we can help you find a Multi-generational home in Clark County, or offer you some first-hand lifestyle experience, contact us today.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Lavender blue dilly dilly, lavender green, When I am King dilly dilly, you shall be Queen. Our love affair with lavender at our rural home in Camas.

It’s nearly a year later and we not only love each other more than ever, but enjoy one another more than ever. How’s that for a testament to this lifestyle? We think the lifestyle offers numerous rewards and benefits, however we’ve discovered some important guidelines in our own journey of “together again” with mom and dad.

We are always thrilled when the right people come along and find the one they’ve been dreaming about in their hearts and minds. Is it serendipity, or great marketing? We think it’s a bit of both. If we can help you sell, or find, your own ViewHome in Clark County, WA, we’d love to help. After all, it’s all we do.

We know where to find Multi-gen homes, family estates, and homes with plenty of space for frequent visitors. In fact, we too live the lifestyle in our own ViewHome located in the hills above Camas/Washougal. Privacy and nature abound, yet recently, it was only a 20 minute trip to take our daughter and granddaughter to Portland International Airport for their return flight to Denver.

With the heat spell upon us, it is comforting to know we are surrounded by so many places where water is easily accessible in nature. Whether you just want to wade in a shallow stream, or plunge into a deep pool, you have many choices for cooling off outdoors.  The big challenge is – with all the choices – deciding where to go.

The biggest natural water feature in the area is, of course, the Columbia River, and the options are unlimited if you have a boat. Some areas are off-limits due to access or strong currents. But if you want to lie on a beach and wade in relatively calm water, Captain William Clark Park is a good start.  Two reservable picnic areas are available for up to 50 people each.  Otherwise, free picnic tables are available throughout the area on a first-come basis.

Lacamas Lake and Round Lake are extremely popular during hot weather.  Each offers hiking trails around swimming areas accessible from the shore. Sweetwater SUP is a local company that currently offers kayak and paddle board rentals on Lacamas Lake.  The best part of paddle boarding on a hot day is you don’t really mind falling in!  If you’re willing to take a short hike on the Lacamas Creek Trail, “The Potholes” are deep pools formed by waterfalls on Lacamas Creek.

The Washougal River is another swimmable body, depending on where you jump in. Starting up at Dougan Falls, you can find kayaking and swimming spots if you get there early – it is a popular site on a hot day. Heading south, there are a number of public areas along the river where swimming is allowed. Be careful of rapids and swift currents – even if the air is hot, the water can still be cold and induce hypothermia.  But as the summer progresses, the water starts to heat up, and the risk subsides.

Of course, the ideal place to go swimming on a hot day is your own private waterfront retreat.   So even when the temperatures reach the upper 90s, we are grateful that we live in an area with “water, water everywhere”!

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | Views

It’s the season for living lakeside, or riverside, in Clark County. Water makes summer so much more enjoyable too. Imagine hosting the season’s most celebrated events at your place. People love to raft and swim on hot days – your house will be the one everyone wants to visit!

In Clark County, there are several areas to live on, or near, a lake, but due to seasonal algal blooms, they aren’t always safe for swimming. That’s why we’re big fans of the Lewis and Washougal Rivers. Both provide year round beauty and recreation.

We think a great option for sale at this time is a gorgeous 2351 square feet one-level home on the Washougal River. While it does have a Washougal address, the home is actually in Skamania County, between the Fish Hatchery and Dougan Falls.

16125124-018

And what a spot it is for waterfront living! Not only does the home open up to stunning river views, there is also a waterfall – it adds up to a pretty magical setting amid towering fir trees.

The private acreage is fenced and winding paths through the filtered sunlight opens to various gardens. The owners have put a lot of money, and love, into the various plantings. Color blooms from Spring to Fall.

If you want to visit this amazing home, before it’s too late. Call us today.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

With Memorial Day launching the unofficial start of summer, it’s a good day to kick-start your family activities for the season. In addition to summer camp and trips to the beach, there are many local areas and activities to keep in mind.

This Saturday, June 4, is National Trails Day, an annual celebration of trail activities across the country: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more. Several locations in the area are hosting events – the City of Ridgefield celebrates with the Big Paddle – an interpretive tour by canoe, kayak, or even paddleboard along Lake River to the confluence of the Columbia River. Registration for the tour is required, but there are other free activities along the waterfront.

But you don’t have to wait until Saturday to get outdoors.  This area offers many close-by opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, or just strolling along the beach to throw a stick for your dog. Some of our favorites include:

Cape Horn, a rigorous hike along the Gorge that offers amazing panoramic views of the Columbia River and Gorge.  Head East on WA State Route 14 to signs at milepost 26.4.

Sunset Falls Park, along the East Fork of the Lewis River.  Kayak along the East Fork, take an easy hike to the falls, or spend the night camping.

Lacamas Heritage Trail is a relatively easy, but extremely scenic hiking/biking path along Lacamas Lake. Parking at either end – off Goodwin Road, or Lake Rd near the Lacamas Lake Lodge.

Captain William Clark Park is a very popular picnicking and swimming area along the Columbia River in Washougal.  Cottonwood Beach can get a little crowded on holidays, but a short hike East around Cottonwood Point offers more privacy.

However you decide to launch your summer activities, Clark County offers many opportunities for views of Nature as Neighbors.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

This is it. The home you’ve been waiting for – a private retreat with Washougal River frontage. Located well above the flood-plain, you’ll have the the luxury of enjoying this lifestyle, without the worries. The home itself is a one-level with two very private master suites, each with their own entry. A glass and wood filled solarium Great Room is the center of this vibrant space.

This waterfront property would be perfect for an artist, author, or any other occupation that lends itself to working from home. There are views from most all of the interior rooms and the connection to nature gives one the feeling of serenity, yet creative energy abounds. The Washougal River and Lalolu Falls are ever-changing which provides for delightful surprises.

Waterfront homes are a commodity in our area, and we think this one is is a true gem. The one-level floor plan, 200 sq foot heated shop, fenced acreage dotted with firs and gardens, and of course the river and waterfall view makes it a true destination worthy place to live. It’s located about 25 minutes to the Safeway store in Washougal ( Between the Fish Hatchery and Dougan Falls).  Call us today for your private tour.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Special, unique, one-of-a-kind, destination worthy. Do these words appeal to you? Schedule your private tour today. Located about 25 minutes from the Safeway store in Washougal.

This is the time of the year when buyers seem to long for a home along a river. An idyllic lifestyle comes to mind for us too. Lemonade on the deck after a dip in the swimming hole on a hot summer day. Blanket wrapped fall mornings with a mug of hot coffee. There’s so much to celebrate about life along a river. It can feel like a resort vacation – everyday.

We think the Washougal River is one of the most beautiful in our region, and the above photo showcases all the reasons. Pristine water tumbles over rocks and logs, waterfalls cascade from the cliffs above, and towering evergreens line the banks. In fact, the photo was taken near the Fish Hatchery – just a few minutes from a very special property.

Deck 2 Washougal River Rd-large-065-64-16241 Washougal River Road64-1500x1000-72dpi

If you’re longing for a retreat, one that has the potential for serenity, creativity, and fun, we’ve got the perfect spot for you. This one-level custom home sits on the Washougal River with a gorgeous private waterfall to delight, mesmerize, and entertain. You can’t help but feel as if you’re at a destination resort on these grounds.

To say it’s special is an understatement. It’s a one-of-a-kind location and property. If you’re sick of cookie-cutter homes and long for a unique floor plan, and something different from all the same colors and finishes we see, ad nauseam, this home might be the one. Two master suites, located on each end of the home, open up interesting possibilities.

The magical location alone is worth the price of admission, add the house, the gardens, and your own vision for a personal masterpiece.  A scenic 25 minute drive from the Safeway store in Washougal takes you the gated driveway of this private retreat. If you’d like to see if for yourself, contact us today, before it’s too late.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Nature as Neighbors – Gardeners Experience Zen Digging in the Dirt

If you’re like me, digging in the dirt can calm, ground, and refresh your mood, all at once.  It’s truly an enjoyable endeavor that also pays off in beautiful blooms and tasty vegetables and fruits. Studies have shown that gardening can have a meditative, healing effect on people – one study coined the phrase Horticultural Therapy.  It is definitely an area in our lives where we experience “elbow room for the soul”.

In Clark County, WA, you’ll have to adjust your gardening style to the different conditions within our region. For example, those of us who live in East County – Fishers Landing, Camas, and Washougal have gorge winds to reckon with as they can cause problems with our plantings.

Strong winds tug at delicate root systems and prevent optimal growth. In addition, the wind dries out soil, therefore gardeners must be mindful and water deeply and with more frequency to avoid stress.  Pathogens are also carried from one plant to the next, especially when accompanied by rain ( that never happens around here, right?).

Facing the Gardening Challenges of Windy Conditions

You can create barriers for your more delicate plantings ( eg. tomatoes) to help block the winds. Small retaining walls, mesh screens, and trellis panels can be quite effective.  Some gardeners create small recesses within windy slopes or other areas. These pockets are surrounded with a build up of stone or rocks and covered with a heavy layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

Thoughtful placement of trees and shrubs can also provide wind protection for your garden in East County. Consider hardy varieties such as redbud, mountain ash, dogwood, and Japanese maples, to name a few. We like shrubs such as rose hips, lavender, and high-bush cranberry. It’s essential that windbreaks are 50% permeable to filter the winds.

We’ve designed our raised-bed garden on a terraced southern slope that gets more sun and less cold north winds. Terracing makes it possible to garden on a slope with little concern over erosion. The heat stored by the terrace wall above each strip provides a bit of thermal protection for the crops below.

Gardening provides such a feeling of satisfaction. Digging in the dirt is good for the soul and our health. You can’t get much more fresh and local than the harvest from your own garden. Here’s to a great growing season in East Clark County, Washington.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We have a property for sale on the Washougal River with a million dollar view. Fortunately for you, it’s bargain priced at $499,900. The sellers are throwing in the house and gardened landscape for free! You’re not going to find an offer like this one everyday.

Seriously, this property really does have a million dollar view and we think this one-level custom home is priced qute fairly. Afterall, it has two-master suites with separate entrances, a 200 square foot heated shop, a vibrant solarium Great Room, and endless possibilities.

As you enter the front gate, winding paths through tree-filtered sunlight open to delightful and varied gardens. The mood is one of reflection and relaxation. You feel a million miles from everywhere, yet you’re only about 25 minutes to the Safeway store in Washougal.

A bubbling fountain greets you at the front door, and as you enter, views of the Washougal River and Lalolu falls take your breath away. It’s simply stunning. Nature’s handiwork is everywhere you look.

Sliders lead to the deck from various rooms in the home lending it to seamless indoor/outdoor living space. A glass and steel deck railing was built with preserving the view in mind.

This is truly a one-of-a-kind property. If you’re sick of seeing all the same finishes and color themes in newer homes or remodels, you’ll find this one quite refreshing. And of course, there is that million dollar view.

Contact us today for your private tour.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News | Views

Forget-Me-Not, Dear Father

The story of us has evolved – from the four of us, to the six of us – my husband and me, my sister and her husband, and our parents. My sister and I had a good life while growing up, thanks to our parents. We both feel it’s now our turn to ensure they spend their latter years surrounded by love and support. Therefore, we all moved to the same multi-generational property in Camas last Fall. 

For us, the key to making this work is privacy and cooperation. We consult each other on important matters that involve all of us, and try to give one another the space we need to breath. Admittedly, while we wait for our parents cottage to be built, it’s not ideal at the moment, but we make it work. A good sense of humor, patience, and the knowledge of of “end in sight” is helpful. 

My dad has dementia and it comes with mood swings and moments of frustration. He’s still lucid enough to remember us all, and generally knows what’s going on. However, it’s sad to watch his impatience with himself when he loses a thought or a word. He often repeats himself as if stuck in a loop, especially if he’s stressed or over tired. Things that used to be easy take time.

Mom needs us as much as he does. The illness is often just as difficult for a spouse as it is for the person affected by memory loss. We all work to jog his memory with stories and frequently mention the names of friends and family members. We try not to remind him of his inability to remember things and pretend as if we’ve heard a story or suggestion for the first time, rather than the fourth or fifth. The moods swings take love and understanding. 

My dad’s younger sister and her family came to visit us yesterday. They live north of us in the Seattle area. It was good to relive old memories, and when we couldn’t recall a place or name, we laughed at the normal momentary memory loss most experience as we age. What a juxtaposition I thought to myself, we’re sharing old memories, making a new memories, and visiting together while we can all be remembered. Tears flowed when they left amid exchanges of ” I love you’s.”  “Life moves too damn fast,” someone said. 

Sunday’s are family day at our multi-generational household and we’ll be hosting dinner for everyone at our place this evening. I’m not sure what’s on the menu yet,  as I’m still honoring the feelings of my bittersweet mood this morning. I’m overall grateful though, and happy to be here. I’m certain none of us will ever regret this time spent as a family, together again.  I love you mom and dad.

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle

Waterfront lifestyles are special. The views are ever-changing, and the abundance of wildlife is an extra bonus.

Not far from Camas, there’s a small pocket of six luxurious homes built on large lots with stunning views. So unexpected, not everyone knows about this delightful neighborhood. Deer, eagles, osprey and other wildlife are frequent guests. Downtown Camas is literally a few blocks to the East.

Fortunately, one owner has decided it’s time to downsize. That means you’ll soon have the chance to purchase one of these Camas ViewHomes™. If you’re looking for a large home, close to everything, yet connected to Nature, this might be the one. Children in the area attend the highly regarded Camas School District.

Soon, we’ll be listing this lovely home at Nature As Neighbors. We’re delighted to offer you another ViewHome™ with “elbow room for the soul.”

Filed under: Lifestyle | Views

The focus of our weekend has been getting the veggie starts going, and finishing up building the raised garden boxes. It’s quite a chore as we’re terracing them along a slope – there’s lots of digging and “level” checks. “Mac,” our white golden retriever got in the act and supervised at times.

Dougan Falls is one of the most popular spots in our region for cooling off during the warm summer months. Admittedly, it’s truly a magical design from Nature. However, we think those of you who enjoy a more soothing cool-off will love our listing which is located about a mile and a half from Dougan Falls. 

It too has a marvelous location, and we think Mother Nature has again created a masterpiece. It also offers fun along the Washougal River and a waterfall. The difference? This wonderful spot is private. Let’s face it, after a certain age, most of us still enjoy the fun of a summertime dip in the water, albeit a bit more toned down than our teenage years.

This property is one of the best locations we’ve seen with a house attached – and as Realtors® specializing in ViewHomes™ of Clark County, that says quite a lot. The list of amenities and the natural gifts that accompany this home is lengthy. And, with a custom one-level design featuring two private sections to the home’s Master Suites, we think this property lends itself to intriguing possibilities.

If you’d like to schedule a private tour of this property, contact us today, before it’s too late.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Views

Nothing says “Pacific Northwest” like fresh-caught seafood and microbrews, and now the two best are available in one venue in Ridgefield.  We have been huge fans of Pacific Northwest Best Fish Co. since they opened in 2001.  Originally a small seafood counter located in an improbably rural area, they have thrived and expanded – converting a simple drive-through cart into a sit-down seafood cafe. Their signature dish, Halibut Fish and Chips was voted “Best of Clark County” for 2016, as was their Seafood in general.

Our recent impromptu lunch visit confirmed our personal vote for Best Seafood, and now there is even more to like about the place – 3Peaks Public House and Taproom. Located in a previous cold storage warehouse adjacent to the Cafe, the atmosphere is clearly “Northwest Outdoor Comfort”.  The bar features (at our last count) some 16 taps surrounded by wood paneled walls adorned with photos and art created by local artists.  The menu offered a choice of PNWB dishes (order here, or next door at the cafe – they’ll deliver!) and traditional pub munchies.  Their tap menu rotates regularly – hosting special “Tap Take-over” events by local breweries. They also offer a nice selection of wines.

We usually have the halibut fish tacos – a healthy choice since the fish is grilled, and not at all greasy. Wrapped in a flour tortilla, they are topped with their special slaw made with marinated cabbage and cream sauce – just the right amount of spicy and cool. Add a touch of salsa, and you have the perfect lunch to accompany a pint of cold microbrew.

We sat outside on the loading dock/porch and soaked in the early Spring sun.  The food was great as always, and the beer recommended by the bartender was a pleasant surprise – a slightly floral RPA with a hint of mango. Not fruity at all, and a nice complement to the tacos.

Even after that satisfying meal, we couldn’t resist shopping the seafood counter for fresh halibut – it truly is the best in the area. So take the time to head up to Ridgefield and enjoy the wonderful combination of fresh seafood and local hand-crafted microbrews.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

It’s family day at our Multi-gen household and my sis and her husband are still on their road trip, back by May 1st. My husband and I will be hosting Sunday dinner for my folks again today, and I think we’re having a Roast chicken on the Traeger.

As REALTOR’s who specialize in family estates, properties with acreage, and multi-generational homes, we think having privacy and space is a huge part of this enjoyable lifestyle. It also helps to be surrounded with beautiful and soothing landscapes with Nature As Neighbors.

Sunday’s are Family day at our Multigenerational Household in Camas, Washington. It’s normally when all three families get together to enjoy life and share a meal.

Alpacas make me feel all warm and fuzzy – I just love them! Don’t ask me when this adoration began, it’s tough to pinpoint. Perhaps the moment I laid eyes on my first one. There’s something kind and friendly about them – and whimsical. If they were smaller, I’d ensure we had a dozen! My mom, who lives with us, recently informed me that she loves them too.

However, regardless of our admiration for them and our acre-plus property in Camas, we will not be getting any alpaca’s in the near future. They love company, and as herd animals, it’s not fair to have just one alpaca. And, given our multi-gen family’s four dogs and a designated space for gardening and fruit trees, we really don’t have the room for a barn and the necessary pasture space.

For many country estate owners though, alpacas can be a good alternative to traditional livestock such as sheep, cattle, or even horses, especially if there are young children in the family. Alpacas have an affinity for children, and given the delight on the face of a child after meeting an alpaca, the adoration is mutual.

It seems most of us agree, alpacas are wonderful animals – for pleasure and profit. But before people purchase alpacas they need to investigate the reasons why they want the creatures around, and if for profit, what they can realistically expect. Even if the animals will be kept as pets, as with all animals, it’s important to understand how to properly care for them.

As for mom and me, we’ll just have to drive by the various alpaca farms in our area and admire these wonderful creatures from afar.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Today’s view features a pastoral, or bucolic setting. Both words are defined as “pertaining to the country or life in the country, rural and rustic.” We think the red barn and horse reflect the timeless simplicity and charm of life in the countryside.

The Washougal River and Lalolu Waterfall provide an amazing backdrop for a custom ViewHome located on the Clark County and Skamania line.

Spring is here – time to get outdoors!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Some days, when we want to get even closer to nature in the wilderness, we head up to Sunset Falls Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Located on the East Fork of the Lewis River, we can choose a day visit for a picnic and hike to the spectacular falls, or reserve a campsite and spend a few days exploring the area.

Kayakers put in a mile and a half upriver, and are known to shoot the falls when water levels allow. During the warmer months, swimming in the pools formed by the falls is an option. Only 7 miles from Lucia Falls Rd in Battle Ground, WA, this easily-accessible site is popular during the spring and summer, so book ahead if you plan to stay.

The East Fork of the Lewis River has earned the national Wild and Scenic designation, which recognizes and protects its unique environmental qualities. In 2014, the river was identified as a wild steelhead gene bank for its pristine waters and breeding areas – terminating the release of hatchery fish into its waters. As a result, fishing is only allowed south of the campgrounds, below Horseshoe Falls.

The drive up to Sunset Falls Park takes you past some other interesting parks and outdoor activities. The Pomeroy Farm is a living history lesson in how the early pioneers managed to live off the land in the area. Moulton Falls is a day-use only site along the river that offers short, easy hikes, picnicking, and swimming during the warm months. Watch for future posts about our our visits there.

As you can imagine, properties right along the banks of the river are prime real estate, due to popular demand for outdoor experiences and living with nature as neighbors. They do come up occasionally, so If you’d like more information about properties for sale in the area, let us know.

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Goats eat up to 20 percent of their body weight each day. Around here, wild blackberry brambles can become a real issue as an invasive species. Not with goats around! Clark County, like many areas in the US, have herds of goat “weed warriors” they use to control noxious weeds at public sites. In addition, there are Rent-a-Goat options for those who don’t want to own goats full-time.

We feel fortunate to live surrounded by nature, yet in close proximity to the amenities of a big city, especially great restaurants. Now that East County is growing, there are more choices for excellent dining experiences nearby. Our recent venture to Hearth Wood Oven Bistro in Washougal was no exception.  Our multi-generational family has a wide range of tastes from traditional to the eclectic – and all were satisfied.

Located in the newly-revitalized downtown Washougal on Main street, the interior exudes a mix of modern flash with homey warmth.  The red brick oven centerpiece sets the tone and provides an appetizing aroma as you walk in the door. We were seated quickly and offered an array of drink and appetizer specials on the Happy Hour menu, as well as the full dinner menu.

We opted for the roasted brussel sprouts and mixed green salad for starters. The seasonal menu featured fresh seafood from the region, including Spring salmon and Willapa Bay oysters, so we had to try their fried oysters. Most of their dishes are baked or roasted in the wood oven, so even vegetables emerge with a rich smoky flavor. The brussel sprouts were among the best we’ve ever had, and could even make a non-vegetable eater a convert.  The fried oysters were prepared just as we like them – lightly sauted with a thin coating rather than crusted corn meal.

Their signature artisan pizzas range from the traditional cheese, pepperoni, or sausage toppings to the creative, eclectic Thai chicken or bacon pesto. All are hand made and wood fired for that smokey glaze that accentuates the fresh ingredients. Drinks included local microbrews on tap, a reasonable selection of red, white and sparkling wines, and specialty cocktails.

The service was very friendly and efficient, and the staff made us feel right at home.  This is another great spot we will add to our options when looking for a satisfying dining experience.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

The solution? Light – and more exposure to the outdoors! Light is our principal environmental cue for how our bodies react – it triggers the suppression of sleep-inducing melatonin. Even artificial light can help, but finding a way to get out into natural light is best. Take some time and notice the changes going on outdoors around you. Nature has remarkable systems for adjusting to seasonal environmental changes – with or without daylight saving.

If you’re interested in learning more about Multi-generational homes and lifestyles in Clark County, Washington. We’d love to help. We specialize in ViewHomes ™- houses with land, family estates, and multi-generational homes. The common denominator? Our sellers and buyers feel that privacy is the ultimate luxury. We call it “elbow room for the soul.” ™

We often run into people who raise their eyebrows or react with disbelief when we explain our lifestyle. Some people actually say, ‘that’s weird.” Others suggest it’s noble, but quickly add, “I couldn’t do it, we’d kill each other.” We’re not offended, and understand it’s still different. However, given the increasing numbers, we’re certain this lifestyle is going continue to gain in popularity. Perhaps one day, it will be the norm.

Imagine a Washougal Riverfront retreat with an additional view of your own private waterfall. Talk about Nature As Neighbors and “elbow room for the soul.”™ This is the spot! Coming soon…

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

The Waterfront Renaissance Trail offers many stunning views. We imagine Ilchee enjoying it too as she keeps watch over this section of the mighty Columbia River. Perhaps, we hope, she might dream of the days when she paddled her own canoe with the skill and power worthy of a chief.

ViewHomes of Clark County™ grew out of our love for nature, beautiful surroundings, and a peaceful environment. We recently moved our multi-generational household to an area located in the rolling hills north of Camas-Washougal. Our property sits on an acre-plus with towering trees, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and we get seasonal views of the Little Washougal River. Our family loves having Nature As Neighbors.

If you’re looking for a family estate with enough room for visiting, or live-in family, and friends, and land to garden or enjoy privacy, you’re similar to the majority of our clients.. Since we also specialize in Multi-generational living,  we have helped many families find a home suitable for multiple generations. In short, we recognize the need many of us share to spend time with those we love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate our souls.

One of the key elements that our family recognizes is the need for each of the three couples to have their own space and privacy. If we choose, we can go for days without seeing one another. However, that’s not the case. We have over an acre of land too and often share in the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and grounds. We’d be happy to share our tips and experiences if you’re considering this lifestyle.

If you have a multi-generational home to sell, we’d be happy to explain how our unique focus can help market your home to rise above the rest. If you’re interesting in purchasing a Multi-generational ViewHome, we know the inventory and carefully sift through the listings on an on-going basis. We’ve found many homes with the potential for dual living situations not emphasized.

There are 49 Dual Living homes listed on the MLS with a Median List price of $729,900. Currently, there are 19 Pending, and 51 Sales in the last 6 months. The Median DOM ( days on market) ranges from a low of 58-92. The Median Sales Price to LIst Price is 97.24%. It’s a great time to sell. Call us today for your complimentary market analysis.

Filed under: Lifestyle

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year and is encouraging everyone to visit their local park and appreciate their importance in our society. We are fortunate to have one of those national treasures right here in Clark County – the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Much has been written about the Park and its significance as the original 1824 site of the Hudson Bay Trading Company, the first major settlement in the Northwest.  While the Fort is easily accessible by driving East from the I-5 freeway to the Visitor Center, a more interesting approach is walking over the Columbia River Land Bridge.

Designed by famed architect Maya Lin, the Land Bridge reconnects the Columbia River with Fort Vancouver via a footpath from the South over State Highway 14. It is a relatively easy walk, and a meaningful historical experience for all ages. A brief walk from the Columbia River Renaissance Waterfront Trail, past the Old Apple Tree Park takes you to the South Portal to the bridge. Passing under the crossed oars, a slight incline takes you along Native petroglyphs, basket weavings, and indigenous plants.  The path levels out at the first of two lookout points that offer sweeping views of the Columbia River and the flat plain where the original Fort was built. For a virtual walk of the bridge, view the overlooks at River or Land, then continue along the path in either direction.  (Click carefully on the walkway, or you’ll end up on Highway 14!)

The Bridge is a great family outing, and a way for all of us to learn about the connection between the original Native population and the settlement of the region.  A Language Walk, featuring words in several Native languages, describes the land, people and river.  An historical timeline with photo murals shows how the landscape and region has changed over time.  This visual journey serves as a wonderful introduction to the Fort and its historical connection to our region.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We just returned from a quick weekend trip to Bend, Oregon. Not only do we enjoy the little mountain town and its high-desert climate ( think sun!), we especially love to visit our son’s family and three grandchildren. Since our youngest grandson is about nine-months old and crawling, we left our white Golden Retriever Mac at home this trip. He and their boxer tend to play a bit too rambunctious together, and we didn’t want any baby mishaps.

What peace-of-mind it gave us to know our family was caring for Mac in our absence. Plus, because we live on a multi-generational property, we knew someone was around to keep an eye on our house too! Tonight is my sister’s turn to host the Sunday dinner, so we don’t have to worry about cooking after our three and half hour drive home either.  Pretty cool, huh? We’re all looking forward to razor clams.

These are just some of the many perks we’ve come to enjoy as part of sharing life and space with people we trust – and love. It’s no wonder this lifestyle is rapidly becoming more popular in our county. Even new home builders are recognizing the increasing demand for homes with enough space for multiple generations. For many families, such as ours, it’s not necessarily a financial decision, but peace of mind. Our parents are in their late 80’s and my sister and I wanted to share the responsibilities of caring for them.  Good thing we have husbands with a sense of adventure.

In our experience, having a connection to nature, and plenty of “elbow room for soul,”™ inside and outside, is critical. If you’d like to learn more about multi-generational living, and the housing options for ViewHomes of Clark County, we’d love to hear from you.

Multigenerational ViewHome of the Week:

Our featured Mult-Gen ViewHome this week, is a lovely property located in the Forest Home area of Camas. WIth nearly 7,400 square feet of living space on 2.3 acres, this estate has a full second-living space on the lower level with a Master suite, family room, kitchen, game room and a hot tub/lap pool. Private – and yet minutes to everything!  We especially appreciate the amazing views and five fireplaces!  This is an appointment only home for tours, and all buyers need to provide proof of fund prior to any showing.

 

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a great family dining experience, head out to Rusty Grape Vineyard in Battle Ground, WA.  Voted Clark County’s Best Winery, it is also a fun place for food, music and dining outside on a beautiful day. The proprietors, Jeremy and Heather Sailer, have created more than a vineyard. It is was their intention to create a hub of activity – a destination spot in the countryside – and they have succeeded.  Every time we’ve been there, we have enjoyed the friendliness of the staff, the great food, and of course their wines!  But they also offer a wide range of food, non-alcohlic beverages, and entertainment.

Every night they offer a complete menu of appetizers and dinners, including salads, paninis, and their signature wood-fired pizzas.  They even have a Mac and Cheese Bar that offers your choice of toppings on wood-fired mac and cheese.  Throughout the year they host a series of events from Wine and Chocolate Weekend in February near Valentine’s day, and StompFest in September to celebrate the harvest.  During the week, the Tasting Room opens daily at 4, Vintner’s Hour is Thursday and Sunday, and live music is featured Wednesday through Saturday.

The vineyard recently expanded its drink menu to include its own microbrew and hard cider. They also offer Patina’s Wine Club, which extends special discounts for every wine purchase, and hosts Pick-Up Parties to wine and dine their members. For a complete food menu and hours of operation and special events, check out their web site.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to have Nature as Neighbors, call us, or send us a note.

Filed under: Lifestyle

“Nature is fuel for the soul. Often, when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.” – Dr. Richard Ryan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester.

Living in a home with Nature As Neighbors gives you “elbow room for the soul,” and raises your joy level. There are studies backing up what we believe too. A connection to nature is life affirming and renewing. Recently. while on a flight to Denver for our granddaughter’s first birthday, we noticed an article in the onboard magazine. Rather than restate each point it made about managing stress, here’s a link. We weren’t surprised to read that getting outdoors – and avoiding pavement – is good for what ails you.

In fact, a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being outdoors, specifically in nature, can give us more energy and even increase our body’s ability to ward off disease. More than 10 years ago, the term “nature deficit disorder” was coined. Since then, some research indicates that many of our mental health disorders lies in our increased urbanization. However, until recently, there was little conclusive evidence.

Matthew P White, a social psychologist, and his colleges decided to find a credible link. They studied 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between green space and well-being. The report by the American Chemical Society, and funded, in part, from the Economic and Social Research Council, did conclude that people who moved to greener areas were happier during all three years that their health was tracked after relocating.

Our real estate niche, ViewHomes of Clark County with ” Nature As Neighbors “™ grew out of our love of nature and beautiful surroundings. We’ve always loved the outdoors and appreciated the environment, but after listening to the many stories from our clients who love having ‘elbow room for the soul,” we knew there was something big about the lifestyle. Therefore, we recently made the move and now live in our own ViewHome with Nature As Neighbors. Oh joy, oh joy.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

A crucial component of natural plant and tree cultivation is pollination – fertilization spread by bees, butterflies, even hummingbirds.  Today, we are finding this is more important than ever, so we are sending out seed packets to help in this cause.  Let us know if you’d like a free sample.

Last year, we set up a “Bee and Bee” and we have already started seeing the pollinators emerge, and here are many variations of honey and bumblebees out there to see. Our biggest concern is they may be threatened due to overuse of pesticides and destruction of their natural habitat.
Here are 5 things you can do to help preserve bees in your environment:

  1. Reduce or eliminate pesticides used on foraging plants
  2. Plant a bee-friendly pollinator garden in your yard
  3. Register your area with S.H.A.R.E.
    (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment)
  4. Check out the many bee-friendly devices you can hang in your yard
  5. Support your local beekeeper – buy local organic honey

Also, check out this Illustrated Guide To a Pollinator-Friendly Garden by another bee-friendly author Chris McLaughlin.

If you’d like to learn more about our Save The Bees campaign, give us a call.  We’d love to hear what you’re doing to help preserve our little earth-friendly friends.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Multi-generational living continues to grow in popularity. It’s no wonder, the lifestyle gives us not only practical benefits, but often provides peace-of-mind. We know, first-hand, the joy of sharing our lives and home with those we love.

For nearly ten years, my husband and I lived in attached townhomes with my parents next door. It worked well, but with the bedrooms upstairs we knew it was time to get my parents into a one-level home to lessen the risk of falls.

In addition, my father suffers from dementia.  His increasing need for support ( and my mother’s need for emotional support ) led us to an even bigger family commitment. My sister and I decided to look for a property suitable for all of us. ( We have great husbands.)

Therefore, last Fall, we purchased a ViewHome in Camas with enough room for my sister and her husband, my husband and me, and our parents. Since we were all craving “Nature As Neighbors,” we left the suburbs to live in a rural location on acreage.

To say this lifestyle has brought us closer, and provided more joy in life, is an understatement. It nearly brings me to tears to write about this amazing adventure. There isn’t a day that goes without marveling at how truly fortunate we are to be together.

Our connection to nature, and plenty of “elbow room for the soul,” is critical. If you’d like to learn more about multi-generational living, and the housing options for ViewHomes of Clark County, we’d love to hear from you.

Multi-generational Home of the Week:

photo

This week’s featured property is a luxury home located on five-plus acres in beautiful Gee Creek Estates in Ridgefield. This gated neighborhood gives you plenty of “elbow room for the soul,”™ but is just minutes from Interstate-5. If you love to entertain, this home might be perfect. It has three kitchens and a gorgeous covered patio for year-round outdoor gatherings.

Details about this home.
Note; If this link no longer works, it’s possible this home has sold. Feel free to search through the ViewHomes of Clark County and call us to determine if a property might be easily modified for multi-generational living.

Nature As Neighbors – ViewHomes

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Yesterday, we put up the first hummingbird feeder for our new home in the country. We know they are all over this area during spring and summer, but we were hopeful we could attract some to our feeder during this last part of winter. After all, spring is less than a month away, so our expectations are pretty high!

We did some research on our favorite bird web site, Journey North and confirmed the rufous hummingbird is very common in the Pacific Northwest from California to Southeastern Alaska – nesting farther north than any other hummingbird. There are sightings of the rufous (named for its reddish brown color) during winter months, but not its cousin, the ruby-throated hummingbird, which migrates to Central America during the winter. A quick glance at the winter sightings maps shows a distinct difference in their habits.

Hummingbird Sightings

Apparently, although most rufous migrate south to Mexico and Central America, some are able to winter-over in this area. They accomplish this by going into a state of torpor or dormancy, where their metabolic rate drops substantially to preserve energy. Hard to imagine a hummingbird sitting still, but that’s what keeps them alive. It also explains why you can spot them at feeders during the winter – it helps build up their food reserve when natural sources are not available.

So, with nature as our neighbor, our odds are pretty good we will see the rufous at our feeder soon.  When we do, we’ll report our sighting on the Journey North web site and post pictures here.  Check back in a few weeks to see how we did…

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Sundays are family day at our Multigenerational family estate. My husband and me, my sister and her husband, and our parents live together. Every other Sunday, the two younger couples host the family dinner for all six of us. The rest of the week, we trade days to cook for our parents. Friday, we choose a restaurant to explore. Sometimes we venture across the bridge to Portland, or stick close to home. Recently, we suggested a Camas restaurant and all agreed Neustra Mesa earned the right as one of our family’s local favorites.

We each have our space and plenty of “elbow room for the soul,” inside our homes, and out.  It’s a lifestyle we’re seeing more and more of in our Nature As Neighbors Real Estate business. ViewHomes of Clark County™ features homes on acreage with views of nature, and plenty of room for privacy.   Over the past several years, we really enjoyed helping our clients sell, or purchase, their own ViewHomes. One day, we realized our souls too were craving a different lifestyle. We enthusiastically said goodbye to our suburban neighborhoods, and have adapted quickly to our rural lifestyle.

For example, we often share the tasks of maintaining the homes and our acre-plus grounds. Recently, we enjoyed an afternoon of clearing brush and pulling out blackberry brambles. We’ve discovered chores are a lot more fun when you do them with people you love being around. My sister has a great sense of humor and her comedic routine makes the most mundane project feel like a party.

If you’re considering a multi-generational lifestyle, we’d be happy to share what we’ve learned. Plus, we frequently sift through the ViewHomes of Clark County inventory and identify those properties with current, or potential, multiple living spaces. Each Sunday, in honor of this increasingly popular lifestyle, we feature a “pick of the week.”

This week, we chose a mid-century 4 bedroom, 4 bath home with two separate, large guest cottages. It sits on nearly seven and half acres in Washougal and features views of the valley and the Columbia River. The buyer’s financing failed after a two month effort, now another family has a chance to scoop this one up.  Priced at $649,900 we don’t expect it to last long. ( Update – it’s now Pending, don’t worry we have others we’d be happy to show you.)

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Orchards Feed Mill is a great resource for area Farmers and those who appreciate living a rural lifestyle.

If you live in a ViewHome in our area, chances are you have a well. We have a well on our rural property located north of Camas. It’s 320 feet deep and provides plenty of water for all of us. Prior to buying, we carefully did our research to determine the gallons per minute produced, and had the water tested.

Pendleton Woolen Mills – Still Weaving Woolen Fabrics  in Washougal

We’re huge fans of Pendleton Woolen Mills.The colors and designs of their fabrics speak to our love of nature and the Northwest lifestyle.  We own three of their legendary blankets. One of our favorites, a teepee design with evergreen trees, was given to us by a Great Aunt. It’s actually classified as an antique and dates pre-1942. You wouldn’t know it, the colors are vibrant and the blanket shows few signs of wear.

Their products are a major part of our lifestyle and Western Heritage in the Pacific Northwest.  If you’ve ever owned a Pendleton blanket, sweater, or classic wool shirt, it’s a connection to a long history which started in the late 1800’s. In 1910, the company established itself as a purveyor of fine products with a socially responsible mission statement. Today, the company continues that philosophy by choosing many “green” business practices.

For example, the company recently developed “Eco-wise Wool.” From the sheep to the shelf, It passes strict standards of sustainability and responsible environmental stewardship. Not only is the fabric created to leave the lightest impact on the earth, it is richly colored and delightful to touch. The best part, a special treatment lets it get softer every time you machine wash and dry it – and the colors remain true wash after wash.

Pendleton has its company headquarters in Portland, Oregon. The original plants in Pendleton, Oregon, and Washougal, Washington, are among the few woolen mills still in operation in the United States today. By the way, Pendleton woolen fabrics and blankets are still woven at the two aforementioned mills. The Washougal Mill is open daily and free tours are available on Monday through Friday – you’re asked to call ahead @ 360-835-1118.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Today is February 7, 2016 and Super Bowl 50. We’ll be watching the big game at our multi-generational estate with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and other visiting family members and friends. My brother-in-law spent many years in Fort Collins and is a true fan of the Denver Broncos. He also has the largest television set, one the newer curved screen styles, so we’ll be enjoying the festivities on their level of the main home this afternoon.

My husband is making his baked wings recipe, he claims they’re healthier. My parents can’t handle much spice, therefore, we’ll have a mild version and a spicy version. The weather is going to be wonderful in our neck of the woods too. Therefore, we’ll likely get out for a while this morning and do some yard work. We’ve discovered it’s a lot more fun to take care of our acreage and home maintenance when you share the workload with people you enjoy ( and love!).

Our real estate business, ViewHomes of Clark County™ grew from our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. We specialize in family estates, multi-generational living, and homes with large lots or acreage. Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbow room for the soul.”™  After selling a number of these properties over the last several years, we recently migrated from a more urban setting to discover first-hand, the joy of having Nature As Neighbors.™

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, and Sunday’s in general, as it’s the one day we make sure to share a meal as a family, we’ll kick off a weekly series called “Sunday’s Pick.” We’ll feature one of our multi-generational ViewHomes of Clark County.Today’s pick is a recently listed  property in Hockinson. While not listed as “dual living,” an omission we see quite often in our MLS, the home has the potential for separate living space in a huge bonus area with its own bath and wet-bar.

The nearly 4 thousand sq ft home sits on 2.5 acres with a creek and mountain view. We both appreciate the 6-burner gas stove in the kitchen, and avid golfers would love the putting green in the back yard. Anyone who craves Nature As Neighbors and realizes that privacy is the ultimate luxury would be happy calling this property “home”

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Our thoughts are turning to gardening again. It’s nearly time to start prepping the beds for early Spring planting. However, our ViewHome™ in Camas is also surrounded by deer. We’re not complaining, when you choose ” Nature As Neighbors ” it requires thought and creativity to coexist in harmony with area wildlife.

“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”  – Vincent Van Gogh

Planets Align

Living in a rural area with clear skies offers us amazing sunrises, sunsets, and star-gazing.  For the next month, an added bonus will be an alignment of five planets not seen for over a decade. Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye for a window of time from 6:30 to 7:15 am in the Southern sky. Although binoculars can help, they’re not necessary.  As Washington State University astronomer Guy Worthey was recently quoted: “These were the five planets known to the ancients.”

Although this alignment occurs again this summer, Mercury and Venus will be lower in the horizon, making them harder to spot. So take a moment in the morning over the next few weeks and observe a spectacle that has been around since the beginning of time. Experience the same wonder as the ancients and take a moment to dream.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News | Views

 

Great Horned Owl Cropped

Hoos Your Neighbor?

When you live with nature as neighbors, you will often hear sounds of the wild – sometimes in the middle of the night. The other night, I was awakened by a great horned owl, with its distinctive haunting “Hoo-Hoo-Hoo Hoo-Hoo”.  It might be a bit unsettling, but they are just calling out for a mate, or staking their territory.  Here’s an audio sample, with one owl calling, and another responding:

In spite of the scary stereotype in horror movie backgrounds, they are neither dangerous nor threatening – unless you are a small animal wandering around in the dark!

There are several owls species throughout the Pacific Northwest, the most prominent being the great horned – “horns” being the two tufts sticking out of its head. To anyone who loves nature, it should be reassuring to hear them roosting in the area. Owls are part of the natural cycle – they are predators of mice and rodents, which helps keep that population down. They also are not known to carry or transmit any diseases threatening to humans or domestic animals. But they are known to prey on smaller domestic animals and birds that are not housed or enclosed. Owls are protected under federal and state wildlife laws, which require a license to handle them.

If you want to learn more about ViewHomes of Clark County and Nature As Neighbors, contact us at Harcourts USA -The Carl Group.  You can begin your search here.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

(Part 1 of a 2-Part Article)

Once you decide to buy a home in the country, you will be amazed at the number of tools you need to keep the place well-maintained. (We’re assuming, like us, you prefer to do a lot of the work yourself – otherwise your landscape crew already has a good handle on this information.)  Besides the ubiquitous garden tractor seen on many properties, another invaluable tool is a chainsaw. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have always owned a chainsaws – I’ve had several over the years for different properties and uses.

If you heat with wood, or just live in an area with lots of trees, you will quickly appreciate the variety of jobs you can accomplish with a good chainsaw.  Besides cutting firewood, they also come in handy for salvaging fallen trees, pruning dead limbs, or eliminating intrusive brush.

Buying one can be a daunting task for a first-timer because there are many decisions and options to consider. But with a little research, you can find the right tool for the job. We strongly encourage you to go to your local power tool shop or vendor. You might get a slightly better price at a big-box store, but the experience, guidance, and maintenance you will receive from a small town shop are invaluable. Plus, you can learn a lot just by talking to the proprietor and asking questions. I always stop by Camas Power Equipment for service and to buy supplies.

Chainsaws come in two basic fuel-types: electric and gas.

Unless you are trimming small branches in the immediate vicinity of the house, you won’t have as much use for the plug-in variety.  There are battery-operated models, but those will have limited power and can cost as much as a gas-powered.  An electric saw might be a good backup option when you want to cut smaller items. The advantages of a gas-powered saw include portability, power, speed and efficiency of cutting. The disadvantages include weight, maintenance, and safety – issues you can deal with as you become more proficient.

More…  (Continue to Part 2)

For more information about rural living and ViewHomes of Clark County and family estates, contact us at Harcourts The Carl Group.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Environmentally Sound Practices Can Extend The Life of Your Access Road

Most homes in the country or on acreage are accessed over a gravel road. Usually it’s a private road or driveway that leads back from the main road, and gravel is an affordable alternative to paving, which can be three times as expensive. The county typically does not maintain these roads, so it’s the responsibility of the homeowners.

Obviously, getting in and out is an important issue – especially during winter months when weather can be hard on a road. Keeping a minimum amount of gravel on the surface can help, but it won’t do any good unless you observe the common adage about proper road maintenance: “drainage, drainage, drainage.” Water and gravity are natural forces that must be addressed in road design and maintenance. Even paved roads need to follow basic design rules – unless water is drained off properly, it will erode the surface. Plus, it’s a serious environmental issue –  road erosion can create sediment and pollution issues for local streams and rivers.

The Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies (yes, there really is such a thing at Pennsylvania State University!) states that most roads should have a “crown” – a center that is higher than the sides.  This ensures the water will drain to either side – then properly dispersed either into a ditch or broad shoulder.  Crowns should be at least 1/2 inch high for every foot of width. E.g., a 20-foot wide road, (10 feet on either side) should have a 5 inch crown from side to center.  The exception might be roads on a slope – they often drain better if allowed to flow to one side. The key is to observe the natural draining patterns of the landscape and work with nature to accommodate water flow.

(Chain Saws – Continued from Part 1)

For gas-powered models, the first consideration is the length of bar and size of the engine – both determined by the types of cutting you will do. Most engine models will be rated for a range of bar sizes, so there are several variables you can work with. There are many bar/engine charts available on the internet, but here’s a quick summary: Anything over 20” is considered professional grade.

Most homeowners will be happy with a bar that is 16” to 18” long, depending on the average size of tree or limb you expect to cut. That also gives you the range of engine sizes you will need, considering the load on the engine and level of activity.

The final step is to pick up and try out a few models to get the feel for its weight, handle location, safety features, etc.  You also need to consider if someone else with less strength and mobility will be using it – you may need to down-size to accommodate all users. This is where your local power tool shop will help you the most.

There are many brands of chainsaws, but nowadays, some of the brands like Poulson, Husqueverna,and McCullough are made interchangeably by the same manufacturers – much like kitchen appliances.  So always ask about the manufacturer and their reputation.  Stihl is one company that designs and manufactures its own products and has always been a leader in professional equipment. They also make excellent small farm and homeowner grade tools, which I swear by for performance and long-term durability.  You will probably pay a higher price for the Stihl brand, so it’s important to consider how much you will actually use your chainsaw and if you can justify the premium.

Whatever your choice, always closely observe basic safety guidelines, especially being mindful of the potential for kickback – hold and cut to your side as much as possible, and never cut over your head. 

For more information about rural living and ViewHomes of Clark County and family estates, contact us at Harcourts The Carl Group.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Being Resourceful Adds to Life’s Enjoyment

Our white Golden Retriever, McKinley, aka Mac, is a delightful part of our family. He is the essence of pure love and joy. You’ll find him tagging along on some of our video adventures in Clark County, and beyond.

During a stretch of hot weather at the end of summer, Mac didn’t want to stop playing. But, the heat was taking its toll. He found a way to continue  enjoying the day, his way.  It reminded us that being resourceful often adds to our enjoyment of life.

Bravo to Mac, once again.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Mac Moments

Environmentally Sound Practices Can Extend The Life of Your Access Road

(Continued from Part 1)

Here is a visual comparison – first an improperly maintained road. It’s easy to see where the water will sit and eventually erode through the surface:

Improper Slope

Compared to a properly crowned road:

Proper Crown

If you’re want more on this, check out the EPA’s “Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance For Dirt and Gravel Roads” for comprehensive guidelines.

So, when you are evaluating that beautiful view home in the country, here are some (literally) down to earth tips on the access road:

  1. Pay attention to the current condition of the road – is it relatively smooth and without potholes and standing water?
  2. Does it appear to be regularly maintained? Are side ditches and culverts cleared and not overgrown or clogged?
  3. Who is responsible for maintenance? Is road access shared with others, and is there a road maintenance agreement? Is so, make sure you get a copy and read through it to understand your shared responsibilities.

If you want to learn more about ViewHomes in Clark County and Nature Not Neighbors, contact us at Harcourts USA -The Carl Group.  You can begin your search here.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

“Don’t play too  much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty…” Harry Varden, six-time British Open Champion

There are some good options for golfing enthusiasts in the Camas/Fisher’s Landing area. Green Mountain Golf Course is one of them. The course is located at 2817 NE Ingle Road on the Camas/Vancouver border.

Green Mountain is a good choice for those players who prefer a more relaxed game. It offers people a fun and affordable experience. You’ll see players of all abilities on the course, and that takes a bit of the pressure off while you learn.

The course is located in beautiful tree-lined surroundings with a country atmosphere. Getting a tee time is easy – you can reserve your tee time online (with no booking fees).

 

Filed under: Lifestyle

On hot summer days, Klineline Pond is packed with families and children. The pond has observation stations, roped swimming areas, plus the adjacent park features a spray feature. Parents, be sure to take advantage of the lifejacket loaner station to help keep your little ones safe.

Klineline Pond is located in the Salmon Creek Regional Park with 35 acres of developed parkland and 368 acres of undeveloped green space. The Salmon Creek Association Complex, home of the Vancouver Girls Softball Association backs up to the park. There’s plenty of parking too with 186 spaces, plus 4 disabled parking stalls.

Klineline is the only location where Clark County offers lifeguards. However, they remind parents and children, lifeguards are not a panacea.  Park users are urged to follow the buddy system while swimming. And parents with young children, or those who lack strong swimming skills, should be particularly vigilant.

Klineline is open 7am to dusk. Lifeguards are on duty from 11am to 7pm daily, July 1 through Labor day.

Filed under: Lifestyle

The 78th Street Heritage Farm is located at 1919 NE 78th Street the northern part of Vancouver, called Hazel Dell. The 79 acre site has a rich history in farming and agricultural research. In 2010, the farm was approved to be maintained as an accessible, agricultural, education, recreational, community-based asset. Whew, that’s a mouthful.

There are many studies linking our wellbeing, both physically and mentally to our connection to nature. Gardening, hiking, even a visit to the park, can help restore your peace of mind. We support our many parks and trails in Clark County and consider it money well-spent to support their continued presence in our communities.

If you’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for any time at all, you’ll recognize the name McCuddy’s. It’s a prominent name in our region associated with 60 years of boating experience and services.

McCuddy’s Steamboat Landing Marina has 150 floating concrete boat slips in sizes ranging from 24′ to 40′. All of the slips have electric and water hook-ups. Other handy amenities include a free self-service pump-out stations, fish cleaning station, dock boxes, restrooms, free wifi, and free vehicle parking.

The Marina is located within the gated community called Steamboat Landing. It’s accessed by key cards provided when you rent a slip. Slips can be rented on a daily or monthly basis. The marina is on the banks of the Columbia River across from Government Island State Park.

If you’re looking for a ViewHome in the area with Nature As Neighbors, contact us today. Or take a look at what’s available today. We understand that true luxury is having “Elbow Room for the Soul.” ™

Filed under: Lifestyle

Our ViewHome™ of Clark County sits on an acre above the hills of Camas and Washougal. We are right on the line between the two towns, near the Little Washougal River, but still have a Camas address. Services, such as gas and groceries are about 15 minutes away. That’s why we’re all grateful for the Fern Prairie Market.

The little country store is a handy spot for those of us who live in the rural areas known as Fern Prairie, Fern Prairie Valley, Livingston Mountain and Stauffer Road. The clerks are all extremely friendly and they have everything you might need in a pinch. They even have several gas pumps and sell propane. Their deli items are extremely popular with those looking for a quick snack or lunch.

During the recent record Powerball Lottery drawing, people were lined up in droves to get tickets. It was fun to listen to the different stories as to how they were going to spend their vast millions. People giggled and wished one another good luck as they left the store.

We are grateful to live on acreage with Nature As Neighbors and the luxury of “Elbow Room for the Soul.” We’re also grateful for friendly people and the Fern Prairie Market.

Filed under: Lifestyle

When we’re on a tour with buyers, or listing a client’s ViewHome in the Felida area, we often stop in at Farrar’s Bistro.  It has comfortable and friendly atmosphere, plus the owner, Deb Belden, is committed to using fresh, high quality ingredients from local vendors. You won’t find any boxes or cans in her kitchen!

Nearly everything served at Farrar’s Bistro is prepared in-house; sauces, rubs, dressings, and meats are smoked on-site. For lunch, we often enjoy a fresh grilled fish taco, or the soup of the day and a fresh salad.

During the spring, summer, and fall months patrons have a choice of dining al fresco on the patio. It’s a popular indoor/outdoor venue for happy hour too. Happy hour specials are served daily from 3:30 to 6:00pm and 8:30 to 10:30pm.

Farrar’s is a true neighborhood Bistro open 6 days a week. Deb also offers catering services for private parties throughout Clark County. We appreciate that Deb gives back to the community whenever possible. Farrar’s is a generous support of many local organizations.

Filed under: Lifestyle

As an EcoBroker, I can show you how to live in a more beautiful, comfortable and healthier environment, and save you money! Living in harmony with nature makes good sense. We specialize in Eco-friendly family and multigenerational estates – with “elbow room for the soul.” ™

We admit to being crazy about our White Golden Retriever, McKinley. Mac is well-loved and accompanies us most everywhere, except when we tour ViewHomes of Clark County. He’s really taken to our new lifestyle and enjoys having Nature As Neighbors. When he runs through the woods with wild abandon, his huge smile tells us he loves having  “Elbow Room for the Soul.”  On a recent day, he sat in silence guarding the woodpile. Perhaps, he enjoys a cozy fire as much as we do.

Filed under: Lifestyle

One of our favorite features of our Camas home in the country (besides the view) is the privacy.  We don’t have neighbors looking over our back yard or parked out front.  There is a lot of room between homes up here, and it provides a serene sense of calm.

On the other hand, it is nice to interact with our neighbors. If we’re out working in the yard and we see someone out in their field, we’ll sometimes stop by the fence line just to chat and catch up on what’s happening in their lives. It’s a nice break from work, and we’ve gotten to know some very nice people that way.

One neighbor in particular – Brian – has always been very friendly, but polite and reserved.  We never worry about him dropping in on us unannounced or being intrusive.  He’s our favorite “fence chatter” neighbor.

So it was surprising the other day when the door bell rang, and I opened to see Brian standing there.  He had a wooden bowl in his hand – I didn’t recognize it as ours. So I asked if one of his dogs might have found it and brought it home to him. Instead, he handed me the bowl and said “Here, I just made this.”  A solid applewood bowl, fresh off the lathe in his woodworking studio.  “Hand polished with food-grade oil, so you can use it right away!” he added.

“Wow”, I said, not knowing what else to say. “This is beautiful.”

He shrugged, “I’m also turning some candlesticks out of maple blocks for the neighbors up above.”  He quietly left, heading towards the fence.

Brian's Engraving“Thank you” I called to him, and he just waved.  His neighborly act was complete – his handcrafted gift a pleasant surprise that made my day.  They say “fences make good neighbors”, but I would add – “especially if you stop and chat awhile!”

Filed under: Lifestyle

Men-Chefs

With more homes becoming multi-generational households, we’re seeing more men taking on (or at least sharing) the task of cooking. Men in the kitchen is definitely a growing trend. Credit popular TV shoes such as Top Chef, Chopped, and the notoriety of famous male chefs who frequent The Food Network. Bobby Flay, Michael Chiarello, Robert Irvine, and Guy Fieri are portrayed as masculine and adventurous, and yes they happen to cook well too.

 

Regardless of the reason, more and more men are getting comfortable with a role in the kitchen. A consultant for the Food Republic, a website for male chefs, is celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson says, “The kitchen is the new garage. The cool gadgets and tools are now in the kitchen.”

 

A first for Butterball – Manning Up for their turkey hotline

This trend isn’t lost on one of the country’s biggest poultry producers. Butterball’s Turkey Hotline had been staffed with women operators for 32 years, before a change in 2013. The female operators offered advice on how to handle the often overwhelming tasks of turkey making during the holidays.

For the first time ever, in 2013, Butterball added male operators to their popular Turkey Talk Line. According to the company, when the talk line started in 1980, only 9% of the calls were from men. But now, it’s one in four.

Manning Up the Home Buying Process.

Those of us who sell homes should pay attention. With more families joining forces to live together, it would be outdated thinking to assuming a male buyer is only interested in the garage. The kitchen has become just as important to men and women. We recently helps a family buy a multi-gen home in Livingston Mountain.  And what was the first remodeling job for the man of the household?  A complete re-make of the kitchen – complete with moving walls, opening ceilings, and all new high-end appliances. 

If chef Samuelsson is right, and the kitchen is the new garage for men, both builders and Realtors would be wise to take note. If manning up in the kitchen continues as a growing trend – it may well change the face of homes and home-buying preferences.

It’s certainly changed the way we Talk Turkey. these days!
If you want to learn more about multi-gernerational housing and fantastic kitchens, contact us.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We have an energy-efficient wood stove in our home, but we don’t have enough seasoned wood on site for firewood. So we ordered our first load of alder and oak this week. In our area, you can buy firewood several ways: as logs to cut and split yourself (typically not seasoned), cut rounds to split, or pre-split pieces. Split wood is often delivered by dump truck, emptied into a pile in the yard. Stacking is an extra service, but we like the exercise, so we usually do it ourselves. It’s repetitive physical work, and over time amounts to a decent workout. But the bonus, once you settle into the rhythm of stacking, is the subliminal brain exercise and reflective meditation you experience. Making order of that huge mess can elevate the drudgery to an almost Zen moment of clarity.

When you stack firewood, you are basically solving a geometry problem. Trees start out round, are cut into lengths, then split into halves or quarters. So the challenge is: how do you fit those random-sized pieces back together again to form a nice, cohesive formation? Since a cord is a stack 4’ X 4’ X 8’, it helps to visualize building that polyhedron from the ground up. If you don’t have a wood shed, you can build the stack between metal fence posts.

Start with pieces that are semi-circular, placing the flat side down to form a base. Then, adding the next level, look for the best combination of angles that will result in as much of a flat surface as possible. It’s never really flat – but you can approximate as you add layers. Here’s where the mental acuity comes in – you will start to see patterns and combinations that work best and your brain quickly assesses each irregular piece to assign the right spot for it. Once you settle into that rhythm, your brain switches to auto drive, and you start to slip into the meditation of the moment – moving, measuring, solving, moving again. Over time, you can zone out all thoughts except to focus on the activity. I wasn’t even aware this was happening until I heard “Last piece of wood” and I emerged from my neurological nap!

It is a great way to spend a cool, crisp autumn day – exercising your body on the outside while exercising your brain and mind on the inside. Once you are done you have the satisfaction of a nice stack of wood and the refreshing comfort of a mindful meditation.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about ViewHomes of Clark County – Nature Not Neighbors. Harcourts The Carl Group

Filed under: Lifestyle

As with most stories, ours is evolving. First of all, my sister and her husband have joined the group. All 3 couples with be sharing responsibilities ( and life ) on an acre (+) in Camas. We each have our own space, and each of us has territorial and pastoral views. It’s simply serene – and quiet! We were all craving views of Nature As Neighbors and Elbow Room for the Soul.™

If you’re looking for a home in the Camas area with room for frequent guests, or live-in family members, you’ve got some great choices.  One of our favorite specialties is multi-generational housing solutions. As baby boomers who live on a multigenerational family estate, we are eager to share our experiences and knowledge with other families facing this situation. We’re pleased to report successful outcomes for numerous families in Clark County. Be sure to ask for a list of our references from happy clients.

These homes are all located in the highly sought-after Camas School District and this report specifically highlights the homes with separate guest houses, living quarters, or homes that could be easily modified to create at least two separate living quarters. As my father will tell you, “it’s important to have enough space and privacy that we could go an entire week without seeing one another, if that’s what we choose.” My father is a wise man. Blending generations and lifestyles is an art, but ensuring privacy and alone time can make the process much easier for all concerned.

This is a general overview of homes with guest houses or separate living spaces in Camas at this time. Currently there are 5 homes with guest houses, ADUs, or a separate space with living quarters, or suitable for separate living quarters with simple modifications. For example, homes with daylight basements are often easily modified. It’s especially cost effective if the area already has a bath, and or wet bar/kitchen area. 

Here’s an example: this luxury home is 5,360 SqFt, listed for $1,200,000. It sits on 5 private acres, in the Little Washougal River Estates, and has a separate entrance for the second living quarters.

Multi-Gen House

If you’d like to learn more about this type of home, and available inventory contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your specific goals. We’d love to show you the advantages of living with Nature as Neighbors.

Filed under: Lifestyle

Bee’ing Part of the Solution.

Honey bee populations are disappearing at alarming rates around the world. While we can’t point the finger at just one reason for their mass die-off, there is strong evidence linking pesticides to the conditions causing Colony Collapse Disorder.

In recent years, chemicals called neonicotinoids have been linked to bee deaths, and Europe recently banned the use of the pesticides for two years. The EPA has yet to take action in the United States, and it’s overdue according to many environmentalists and bee-keepers.

One of our favorite grocery stores in the Camas-Fishers Landing area has installed bee hives on the roof-top of the store. New Seasons did the same thing at its Happy Valley, Oregon, store and may put hives in 9 other stores in the Portland area.

A Portland beekeeper recently moved 50,000 bees to the Fisher’s Landing market with hopes of the rooftop population growing to more than 120,000 by next spring. A New Season’s spokesman says it’s the grocery chain’s “Bee Part of the Solution,” campaign.

The Columbian newspaper has reported that New Seasons might start selling its own brand of honey. Another goal of the project is to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and the risk to their survival from pesticides, parasites, and disease.

If honey bees disappear, so does a third of our food supply. Foods we’d likely miss too, including many fruits, veggies, and certain seeds and nuts. It may take scientists time to determine the exact cause of CCD, however neonics are a prime suspect that could be taken out of our backyards, fields, and orchards.

Be mindful of what you use at home in your gardens, even so-called organic pesticides can cause problems for critters. Roundup, thought to be safe to use for killing weeds, is also coming under more scrutiny. Try to find other methods for weed control. It might not be as effective, but in the long run, if it protects the environment, it’s worth it.

If you too are concerned about the link between pesticides and honey bees, let the EPA know. Tell them not to wait until 2018 to ban bee-killing pesticides. And the next time you visit New Seasons, tell them thank you for BEEing Part of the Solution.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

The Power of Trees – Benefits to Homeowners

Most REALTORS®, including this one, know that mature landscaping adds value to a home. One of the best investments you can make is in professional landscaping. Well chosen plants, shrubs, and trees can increase the value of your home, and get it sold faster. Landscaping takes about 5 -7 years to mature, so it’s one of the first steps to consider when you move into a new home.

A Clemson University study found that homeowners can expect 100% return on the money they put into landscaping. However, be mindful of what grows well in your zone. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional landscaper. He (or she) can provide a great blueprint for design, even if you decide to do a majority of the work on your own.

Trees Good for You – Good for the Planet

Surveys done in 2007 by the University of Washington and the National Gardening Society suggest the well-landscaped yards with mature trees and shrubs fetch higher prices and sell more quickly than houses with little or no landscaping. Beautiful, mature trees often provide the ultimate in curb appeal.

Trees are also beneficial to you, and your community. They produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, help prevent erosion and run-off, and can save you money in utility costs. In addition, they give us privacy and are known stress reducers. Trees also provide a haven for a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Earth Day is April 22nd and National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April. Perhaps, this year, to celebrate one, or both events, you’ll consider adding a tree to your landscape. As you’ll see in the following infographic – there are many benefits to the power of trees.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News